Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

International Conference on Construction Engineering and Project Management


Korea Institute of Construction Engineering and Management

Publisher Location

Seoul, Korea

First page number:


Last page number:



Industrial robotic arms are widely adopted in numerous industries for manufacturing automation under factory settings, which eliminates the limitations of manual labor and provides significant productivity and quality benefits. The U.S. modular construction industry, despite having similar controlled factory environments, still heavily relies on manual labor. Thus, this study investigates the U.S., Canada, and Europe-based leading modular construction companies and research labs implementing industrial robotic arms for manufacturing automation. The investigation mainly considered the current research scope, industry state, and constraints, as well as identifying the types and specifications of the robotic arms in use. First, the study investigated well-recognized modular building associations, the Modular Building Institute (MBI), and renowned architecture design magazine, Dezeen to gather industry updates. The authors discovered one university lab and a few companies that adopted Switzerland-based robotic arms, ABB. Researching ABB robotics led to the discovery of ABB’s competitor, Germany-based KUKA robotic arms. Consequently, research extended to the companies and labs adopting KUKA models. In total, this study has identified seven modular companies and four research labs. All companies employed robotic arms and gantry robot combinations in a production-line-like system for partial automation, and some adopted design standardization for optimization. The common goal among the labs was to achieve greater flexibility and full automation with robotic arms. This study will help companies better implement robotic arm automation by providing recommendations from investigating its current industry status.


Industrialized construction; Modularization; Standardization; Automation; Offsite Construction


Construction Engineering and Management | Robotics

File Format


File Size

372 KB




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit