Fink Discusses Climate Change-Fighting Robots with KOLD
ECE professor Wolfgang Fink and assistant professor of architecture Jonathan Bean are finalists in the U.S. Department of Energy’s "Envelope Retrofit Opportunities for Building Optimization Technologies Prize," or E-ROBOT Prize. Fink and Bean created wall-EIFS, a robot that can retrofit buildings by installing insulation, thus cutting down carbon emissions. The researchers recently discussed their research in an interview with KOLD.
“Retrofitting the outside of a building is usually very labor-intensive," Fink said in the KOLD piece. "You have to build a scaffold, lots of people have to be on a scaffold, it’s highly manual. So the idea is to replace that with a robotic approach."
The robot can autonomously scan older buildings for thermal leaks where insulation may be required. With real-time image processing, the robot can map the building's exterior and then spray insulation in the required areas.
“The real excitement I feel about this is its potential," Bean said. "It is something that is definitely needed from an environmental, social, and economic perspective."
This achievement comes with a $200,000 prize, which Fink and Bean are donating to the University of Arizona.