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Open InfraBIM for remote and autonomous excavation


  • The InfraBIM Machine Control Models are suitable for trajectory generation.

  • Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-cloud communication model is discussed for synchronous swarm collaboration.

  • The InfraBIM concept lacks sufficient initial and situational data for adaptive autonomy.

  • Remote operation challenges are emphasized in more demanding 3D shaping tasks.

  • Near future vision is to free operators from basic controls to enable swarm operation.


Open building information modeling for infrastructure and cloud services featuring the InfraBIM have already been identified as a feasible solution to manage worksite information, from surveys and design to the construction phase. This paper describes the use of InfraBIM on remote and automatically controlled excavators as part of the digitalization of the construction process. The concept of the InfraBIM process is briefly discussed. The systems of guided and remote control are explained, and the Open InfraBIM-based trajectory generation concept for automatic excavation is introduced. To assess the functionality of these systems, a small-scale excavation task was planned and executed using three different modes, with each outcome evaluated and discussed. The quality of trenches dug using the excavator was verified with scanned data, and excavation efficiency was evaluated by measuring the time to complete the task. For remote excavation, the InfraBIM-based guidance was observed to support remote operation better than a video feed. The paper proposes sharing more detailed situational as-built data in the InfraBIM concept to enable adaptive autonomous excavation.


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