Construction Machinery Lab at Fraunhofer IOSB

The construction machinery laboratory at Fraunhofer IOSB consists of the ROBDEKON hall together with an outdoor area for testing. The focus of the research work is to enable heavy construction machines to act autonomously. To this end, the machines are equipped with the necessary sensors and enabled with algorithms to solve (partial) tasks autonomously. System development and verification in reality go hand in hand.

The ROBDEKON hall is located on the Fraunhofer IOSB institute premises and thus offers quick access to the robot systems. It is directly connected to the outdoor area, so that low-threshold testing can be carried out with the construction machines directly in the vicinity of the machine's parking space. In addition to the usual workstations and tools, extensive infrastructure (e.g. heavy current power connections) is available. In particular, the ROBDEKON hall offers a high-speed connection to the institute network, so that fast access to the robot systems is possible via the ROBDEKON VPN. In addition, the construction machinery lab at Fraunhofer IOSB provides a meshed WLAN to wirelessly connect different systems over larger distances outdoors. The hall is heated and thus allows work on the systems all year round.

ROBDEKON hall at Fraunhofer IOSB. © Fraunhofer IOSB

As part of ROBDEKON, an automated Liebherr R924 crawler excavator (24t) and a small automated 2t-class excavator are available. The excavators are equipped with sensors for environment sensing (including lidars, cameras) and for self-motion sensing (GNSS, inertial units, joint angle encoders). The machines are algorithmically controllable by software and thus allow the development of autonomy functions.

Internal world model of the excavator during excavation. © Fraunhofer IOSB
Autonomous excavator at Fraunhofer IOSB. © Fraunhofer IOSB
Autonomous transport plattform for excavated soil. © Fraunhofer IOSB
Bird's eye view of the autonomous loading process. © Fraunhofer IOSB

The Living Lab offers

  • Advice on the capabilities and sensor equipment of autonomous systems
  • Help in assessing the potential of machine intelligence
  • Support for the implementation of specific use cases
  • Tests of systems