Technology

Robotic micro-factories launched to build affordable timber homes

The robotic micro-factories simplify the supply chain (Image: ABB)
The robotic micro-factories simplify the supply chain (Image: ABB)

A robotics company and tech startup are using automated modular construction to build affordable and low-energy timber homes.

ABB Robotics and AUAR are working together to deploy robots in a global network of micro-factories to construct buildings made from sheet timber.

Instead of using thousands of components shipped from different places, the robotic micro-factories simplify the supply chain by working with one type of material and one machine type.

The production process uses standard sheets of timber. A robot cuts them into components and assembles them into units that are transported to site, allowing customised homes to be built within weeks.

While many of the assembly tasks are automated, AUAR said its approach supports local jobs by promoting the use of micro-factories close to construction sites, where local contractors and suppliers can coordinate delivery.

The collaboration with UK-based AUAR follows ABB’s work with German management consultant, Porsche Consulting, to develop new practices in modular housing manufacture. 

AUAR said it had completed a £2.6m seed round led by deep-tech and AI fund Miles Ahead, alongside ABB Robotics & Automation Ventures and several other investors.

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