P17211: ShingleBot

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

Project Summary

Roofing material removal is presently performed in a labor intensive manner using standard hand tools (roofing shovels, claw hammers, etc.). While there are some improved tools available, these tools require that human beings operate them while on the roof. This presents significant safety and liability concerns and costs.

Advancements in technology, particularly computer vision and the availability of low cost electronics capable of supporting computer vision, have made it possible to automate the shingle removal process. The goal of this project is to demonstrate an effective autonomous shingle removal robot prototype. Ideally, the completed project would include an effective removal mechanism, an integrated vehicle (rover) to transport and apply the mechanism, the electronics and controls to power the vehicle and mechanism, a vision system used to both identify shingles and to navigate the vehicle, and an appropriate user interface.

While such a system will not completely eliminate the need for laborers on the roof, it can act as a force multiplier, effectively reducing the number of workers exposed to the risks. Detailed interviews with potential lead users also suggest that, by reducing the level of physical labor required, roofing contractors will be able to hire a more sophisticated, career oriented laborer rather than requiring young, physically fit laborers whose roofing employment is generally short term.


Stakeholder Position
Mark Underhill Customer
Rochester Institute of Technology MSD Sponsor
Shinglebot Team Student MSD Team
Dan Kaputa Faculty Champion
John Schaf Principal Electrical Engineer
Larry Hall Principal Mechanical Engineer

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Current State:

Desired State:

Project Deliverables:

Home | Planning & Execution | Imagine RIT

Problem Definition | Systems Design | Preliminary Detailed Design | Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep | Subsystem Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo | Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation