UBC harnessing robot technology

Via Business Vancouver – By Gordon Hamilton

Hundegger drive could establish B.C. wood as a leading precision building material

UBC harnessing robot technologyUniversity of British Columbia (UBC) researchers are taking engineered timber to new levels of construction performance through a computerized piece of technology that is a North American first.

Called the Hundegger Robot Drive, it sits in its own sawdust-proof chamber at the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, part of the university’s Forest Sciences Centre. It has been described as the world’s most advanced piece of wood joinery equipment.

The complicated cuts it can perform are proving to researchers that wood can be a precision building material of the future.

The researchers intend to apply the machine’s high-tech performance to engineered wood products, said Iain Macdonald, managing director of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, showing that intricate wood-to-wood connections can be done using computers and robotics.

It’s a step toward developing a high-valued advanced wood components industry in B.C., he said.

Wood is making a big comeback in institutional and multi-family construction. Richmond’s Olympic Oval and UBC’s Earth Sciences Building are examples.

New laminated products have given wood the strength, and machines like the Hundegger Robot Drive provide the precision needed to meet high performance standards. [Learn more]