Carnegie Mellon University
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Mobile Robot for Automatic Installation of Floor Tiles

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journal contribution
posted on 1996-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dimitrios Apostolopoulos, Hagen Schempf, Jay West
This paper describes the configuration of a floor-tile installation robot for commercial buildings. The research is motivated by the need to reduce the installation time and cost while guaranteeing consistent quality. In order to compete with human installation, a time of 24 seconds per installed tile has to be matched. The technical solution that is deemed feasible and capable of reducing this time to about 10 seconds, is an autonomous, electrically-powered mobile robot with omni-directional locomotive capability, and stereo cameras and light-striper for sensing. High resolution imaging is needed to identify tile seams and edges, assess the quality of automatic installation, and locate where the next tile should be placed. A mechanically compliant placement device would place the tile quickly and accurately without damaging the placed and surrounding tiles, emulating a human capability. Vinyl/ceramic tiles, adhesives, and grout are carried onboard the robot and replenished by the operator. Navigation and positioning are performed through a laserbased triangulation system, and by detecting, counting and dead-reckoning off of tiles placed on the floor. Tile and installation quality are continuously monitored and errors corrected for, based on an overall layout map.


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