ICRA'09 Paper Abstract


Paper ThA6.2

Barnett, Eric (McGill University), Angeles, Jorge (McGill University), Pasini, Damiano (McGill University), Sijpkes, Pieter (McGill University)

Robot-Assisted Rapid Prototyping for Ice Structures

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Manufacturing" (ThA6), Thursday, May 14, 2009, 08:50−09:10, Room: 404

2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 12 - 17, 2009, Kobe, Japan

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on September 23, 2021

Keywords Product Design, Development and Prototyping, Motion and Path Planning, Robotics in Construction


Ice has long been used by humankind for utilitarian purposes, and more recently for artistic and entertainment purposes. Nowadays, the field of ice construction is becoming more commercially relevant, with increased interest in ice modeling at the small scale, and in ice tourism, specifically ice hotels at the large scale. As a result, there is a market for automating ice construction, and building detailed structures that would otherwise require a significant amount of manual work. To address this demand, the authors are currently developing experimental robotic systems for building ice structures: the Fab@home, for building small-scale structures, and the Adept Cobra 600 robot, for building medium-scale structures. Further software and hardware development is needed for the Cobra, since it was not designed for rapid prototyping, and certainly not for rapid prototyping using ice as the working material. The authors have designed and built fluid delivery systems for each machine to permit the use of water as the building material. A signal-processing subsystem permits control of the water-delivery flow rate and synchronization with the robot motion. Additionally, we have developed a slicing algorithm to generate toolpaths for the Cobra using stereolithography (STL) files as the input. We also intend to develop a larger robotic system for producing ice sculptures and buildings at the architectural scale.



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