Virtual Reality for the Robot-Enabled Construction Site Inspection -a
Keywords:Autonomous Mobile Robots, Virtual Reality, LiDAR Sensor, Point Cloud, Site Inspection, Visualization, Robotics
Site inspection and quality control on construction sites are currently being done manually by experienced workers, which is time consuming, prone to human errors, and in some cases unsafe for the workers. However, the integration of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) equipped with sensors are able to both mitigate risk and improve productivity while providing more accurate readings. Despite advantages of robot-enabled approaches for performing these tasks, they are expensive options due to the costs for adopting the robots, and processing a large amount of data collected by the robots. Therefore, enhancing efficiency of robot operation and data processing is key for promoting robots applications in site inspection. This study aims to develop a method for generating three dimensional point cloud scans within a simulated construction environment, visualizing them in immersive virtual reality (VR) for collaborative review and comparing the “as-built” environment with the “as-designed” model. This study uses the Gazebo as a robot simulator, and VREX as a virtual reality platform. A case study was developed in a simulated environment to provide a proof of concept for the usage of robots and VR in regards to inspection of the built environment, and demonstrate the applicability of the developed method. This research provides an insight into the applications of VR for the robot-enabled site inspection, and opens the topic for further research in integrating robot-generated data with other advanced technologies.
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