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December 14, 2021

Shimizu and Sony Start Joint Demonstration Experiments
toward Practical Applications for Patrol and Monitoring Robots at Construction Site

Verifying the Locomotive and Monitoring Capabilities of Mobile Robots

    Shimizu Corporation
    Sony Group Corporation

    Tokyo, Japan — Shimizu Corporation ("Shimizu") and Sony Group Corporation ("Sony") announced today that they have started demonstration experiments to develop practical applications for using robots to streamline construction management tasks such as patrols and monitoring at construction sites.

    The demonstration experiments are being conducted at a site in the A district of the Toranomon-Azabudai Project* in Tokyo, currently under construction by Shimizu. A mobile robot under development at Sony's R&D Center is being put to use at the actual construction site, which features level differences, openings, obstructions, and other obstacles to evaluate its performance and verify the technology.

    Demonstration Experiment Overview

    Background

    Due to concerns over a shortage of engineers at construction sites in the near future, expectations continue to grow in the area of improving productivity by using technology.

    Shimizu has been looking into the possibility of assigning certain tasks such as construction turnover and safety management to robots in an effort to streamline construction management, and considering introducing new technologies at construction sites. Sony has been engaged in developing high-efficiency mobile robotics technologies and has been searching for a way to move into demonstration experiments with the goal of applications in various industrial fields.

    Shimizu and Sony started these demonstration experiments in the hope that they will drive the technical development of mobile robots for practical use at construction sites.

    Purpose

    ‧To verify the usefulness and identify the issues and needs related to introducing mobile robots for construction management tasks such as patrols, monitoring, and turnover inspection.
    ‧To evaluate hardware and software performance of the mobile robot and to verify the technology.

    Period

    November 2021 to June 2022 (scheduled)

    Details

    Sony's test mobile robot is being used in the main tower at the A district of the Toranomon-Azabudai Project (Toranomon-Azabudai District Category 1 Urban Redevelopment Project) in Tokyo, currently under construction by Shimizu. Testing will be carried out to verify the robot's locomotion, monitoring (image capturing), and control performance, with the anticipation of it engaging in patrol and monitoring tasks and construction turnover inspections in lieu of the superintendent that usually handles such work at construction sites.

    Specific Items to Be Verified

    Hardware Moving up and down differences of level, passing through narrow passageways, avoiding unsuitable movement terrain such as openings and puddles of water, and moving appropriately through spaces with less recognizable wall surfaces such as glass and mesh, battery performance, etc.
    Software Formulating robot locomotion routes using a control tablet, positioning by the robot, conceiving of avoidance behaviors for static and dynamic obstacles, capturing images using the chassis-mounted cameras, etc.

    Features of the mobile robot under development by Sony

    ‧Chassis sizeHeight: 720 - 1220 mm (500 mm variable stroke)
    Length: 912 mm
    Width: 672 mm
    ‧Chassis weight 89 kg (including battery)
    ‧The six-legged wheel configuration enables both legged and wheeled locomotion, delivering full-time stability and highly efficient travel performance in environments where level and uneven terrains coexist. It has a maximum locomotion speed of 1.7 m/s.
    ‧The mechanical configuration used to distribute the load placed on the robot legs allows it to transport heavy loads up to 20 kilograms.

    • *Toranomon-Azabudai Project A District
    • Construction site
      A part of Toranomon 5-chome, Azabudai 1-chome, and Roppongi 3- chome in Minato-ku, Tokyo
    • Client
      Toranomon-Azabudai District Urban Redevelopment Association
    • Purpose of use
      Residences, offices, retail stores, schools, parking garage
    • Scale
      Site area: 24,104 m2, building area: 15,247 m2, total floor area: 461,395 m2
      64 floors above ground, 5 floors below ground, 2-storey penthouse
    • Structure
      Steel, partial steel reinforced concrete and reinforced concrete (seismic damping structure)
    • Construction period
      August 2019 to March 2023 (scheduled)
    • Design
      Mori Building Co., Ltd., Nihon Sekkei, Inc., Shimizu Corporation (underground structure design)
    • Construction
      Shimizu Corporation
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