Robotic technologies for on-site building construction: A systematic review

Marwan Gharbia, Alice Chang-Richards, Yuqian Lu, Ray Y. Zhong, Heng Li

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Robotic technologies for building construction represent a significant departure from conventional construction approaches. The use of robots is likely to bring a host of opportunities that transform the way we design and construct buildings. To gain an improved understanding of the trend and trajectory of research on robotics application for on-site building construction, this paper provides a systematic review of 52 articles identified through the PRISMA protocol and meta-analysis. The results show that robotic technologies for on-site construction is a growing application field, where additive manufacturing (AM), automated installation system, automated robotic assembly system, autonomous robotic assembly, and robotic bricklaying seem to be most studied and have a potential to influence the development of robotics research in building construction. While most research discussed single construction activities related to vertical reinforced concrete (RC) elements, masonry walls, steel beams, curtain walls, gypsum boards, and floor tiles, only a few papers proposed an integrated robotized construction site. It is suggested that the building construction industry and research organizations could benefit from the current product and work processes that can be improved by taking some measures through innovative construction materials, improved robotics hardware, and more advanced engineering design to streamline construction workflows to achieve a complete on-site robotic system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101584
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • A systematic review
  • Automation
  • Building construction
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials


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