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Zurich robot excavator builds environmentally friendly walls on its own

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 23 November 2023

Zurich researchers have taught an excavator to build dry stone walls on its own. According to ETH Zurich, the excavator used tons of demolition material to build a six-metre-high and 65-metre-long wall.

Zurich robot excavator builds environmentally friendly walls on its own
Source: X.com

The robot excavator developed by robotics specialists and architects at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) can build walls from almost any shape of stone and concrete, as the university announced on Thursday.

To do this, the excavator scans the delivered material, calculates the best position for the stones and then positions itself with millimeter precision. The excavator scans and places 20 to 30 stones per operation, i.e. roughly as many as are delivered per load.

Environmentally friendly walls

This construction method saves energy and CO2 emissions, according to ETH Zurich. Dry stone walls conserve resources because they make do with locally available materials such as concrete fragments. This means that no extra material has to be produced for the walls. So far, however, dry stone walls have only been of limited use as they require a lot of manual labor.

The researchers presented the new robot to experts on Monday evening in the journal “Science Robotics”. The dry stone wall built by the autonomous excavator is located in Oberglatt (ZH).

©Keystone/SDA

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