University of Pennsylvania

Robotics Laboratory Renovation

Philadelphia, PA

AKF provided MEP/FP engineering services for the phased renovations to the Advanced Research & Innovation Lab (ARI), a robotics laboratory located on the ground floor of Meyerson Hall. ARI merges the expertise of Weitzman School of Design faculty members with state-of-the-art fabrication, measurement, and modeling technologies. It places the Weitzman School as a leader in applied research in manufacturing and other specialties. Access to robotic arm technology allows designers to develop unique routines and customize and mold material.

AKF led a multi-discipline design team to prepare a master plan through schematics for the ARI, incorporating the Weitzman’s School’s plans for four ABB industrial robots, 3D metal printing with sintering furnace, large tabletop CNC mill, 3D plastics printing, multiaxis automating milling by the ABB industrial robots, tabletop application of specialty finishes, and coordination with the robot integration team. Study scope included wind/wake confirmation of lab exhaust location and acoustic design for the entire suite.

Phase Zero/Phase One renovations provided new electrical power for the floor-mounted industrial robots, extended complete sprinkler coverage throughout the suite, and a temporary filtered exhaust system enabling near-immediate usage of two floor-mounted ABB IRB-4600 seven-axis robots for both hot wire foam cutting and 3D clay printing.

Phase Two renovations provided a comprehensive MEP infrastructure package, including a significant expansion of robotics tool integration. Infrastructure included a new 100% OA makeup air unit, a rooftop laboratory exhaust fan, five stories of interconnecting ductwork, new 480V/208V power distribution, a new track-mounting system for the floor-mounted robot to allow a more extensive range of robot motion, and new structural support for robotics process equipment. AKF coordinated MEP infrastructure requirements with University researchers and the University’s Robotics Integrator, PSA, to provide a raceway for power, data cabling, and compressed air for the robotics integration suite and robotics safety systems including LIDAR fencing.


OWNER: University of Pennsylvania
PROJECT NAME: Robotics Laboratory Renovation
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