The natural stone industry is of crucial importance at European level: European countries are traditional users and exporters of natural stone and finished stone products, having the highest per capita consumption worldwide. However, globalization is transforming the stone industry at a fast pace, with traditional European sculpturing and artistic stone processing becoming an endangered art. We see an urgent, unmet need to advance and facilitate traditional artisan and art-work with new technologies, helping the European stone industry to lower their production costs by automating various production steps and thus strengthen them in competition, through a new flexible production concept.
This will be achieved through the implementation of a novel robotic fabrication process, capable of producing artistic stone surfaces through traditional methods such as chiseling – leaving the high-throughput processing to the robot, and the fine “artistic touch” for the end product to the sculptors.
Through the AROSU robot aided processing we expect to reduce the production costs of such stone surfaces by at least 50%, maintaining the high, distinctive quality of European stone products, at the same reducing their target price, making them more affordable for a wider range of customers.
To get there, AROSU has to solve a number of problems such as avoiding excessive shock to the robot through the chiseling process, developing a sensoric feedback system that allows working with an inhomogeneous material, and finding new programming techniques that allow an accessible and graphical definition of the AROSU process for artists, artisans, and designers.