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Architectural Robotics: The Latest Architecture and News

Project Galath3a: a Woman-Machine Collaboration at the Berlin Open Lab

Exploring the use of innovative technologies in architecture and practicing at the crossroads between art and spatial design, Gili Ron and Irina Bogdan have imagined project Galath3a, a woman-machine collaboration. The research-based venture uses a UR5 robotic arm named Gala (short for Galatea), to speculate on what is culturally considered as "womanly behavior".

Laboratory tests performed at Berlin Open Lab, Universität der Künste,Berlin. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina BogdanDesign proposal: Set design for “The Robot Salon”. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina BogdanDesign proposal: Set design for “The Robot Salon”. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina BogdanDesign proposal: Set design for “The Robot Salon”. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina Bogdan+ 9

The New Boston Dynamics' Spot 1.1 Revolutionizes the Construction Industry

Design:ED Podcast is an inside look into the field of architecture told from the perspective of individuals that are leading the industry. This motivational series grants unique insight into the making of a successful design career, from humble beginnings to worldwide recognition. Every week, featured guests share their personal highs and lows on their journey to success, that is sure to inspire audiences at all levels of the industry. Listening to their stories will provide a rare blueprint for anyone seeking to advance their career, and elevate their work to the next level.

Michael Perry of the Robotics Company Boston Dynamics joins the podcast to discuss the release of Spot 1.1, and how their company is using robotics to revolutionize the construction industry.

Robots will Construct Melike Altınışık' Robot Museum in Seoul

© Melike Altınışık Architects
© Melike Altınışık Architects

Turkish practice Melike Altınışık Architects (MAA) has won an international competition for the design of a Robot Science Museum in Seoul, South Korea. Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the competition called for a “world first” museum to support public education in robotics, and increase public interest in robots.

The principles of robotics, science, technology, and innovation have shaped all aspects of the scheme’s design, from form and structure to material and operation. The main character of the museum is to “create its own universe for robots and their visitors,” manifesting as a non-directional, fluid, spherical structure.

© Melike Altınışık Architects© Melike Altınışık Architects© Melike Altınışık Architects© Melike Altınışık Architects+ 9

From Digital to Built: Six Experimentations With Brick

Argentine firm Estudio Arzubialde and Chilean architect Verónica Arcos led a Material Experimentation Workshop in Rosario, Argentina, during which six different groups of students designed and built projects using a variety of brick laying techniques.

Each project used different brick patterns based on simple rules, resulting in a structure with a certain degree of geometric complexity. 

© TEM 2015© TEM 2015© TEM 2015© TEM 2015+ 38

Aarhus School of Architecture's Revolutionary Robotic Formwork Method Cuts Concrete Use by 70%

The Aarhus School of Architecture working with Asbjørn Søndergaard of Odico Formwork Robotics, has unveiled a high-performance structure deployed using a revolutionary robotic manufacturing method. “Experiment R” seeks to disrupt current concrete manufacturing by cutting the cost of concrete formwork production by 50%.

The abrasive wire-cutting method can accelerate the production time of conventional formwork by a factor of 126, while reducing the amount of concrete used by up to 70%. Despite these impressive stats, the technology has been developed to preserve and enhance design freedom.

Courtesy of Odico Formwork RoboticsCourtesy of Odico Formwork RoboticsCourtesy of Odico Formwork RoboticsCourtesy of Odico Formwork Robotics+ 14

MIT Team Working with Neri Oxman Design "Fiberbots" to Respond Quickly to Natural Disaster

The MIT-based Mediated Matter Group have created Fiberbots, an autonomous digital fabrication platform designed to quickly build architecture during disaster. By utilizing cooperative robotic manufacturing, Fiberbots can create highly sophisticated material structures. The small robots work as a group to wind fiberglass filament and create high-strength tubular structures. MIT researchers envision the bots building in extreme environments and natural disaster zones.

Fiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter GroupFiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter GroupFiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter GroupFiberbots. Image © The Mediated Matter Group+ 15

Japanese Robot Capable of Installing Drywall by Itself

Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute have created HRP-5P, a humanoid robot that can perform common construction tasks, including installing drywall. As TechCrunch reports, HRP-5P uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks. The robot may help in Japan's rapidly aging society where declining birth rates meets a lack of skilled construction workers.

Robotics Start-up Proposes Smart, Motorized Ceiling Furniture

“Architects don’t even look at it as an opportunity to put any living experience there…we can open that up” muses Sankarshan Murthy, former Tesla and Apple Watch engineer.

As humans inhabit ever-tighter living arrangements, Murthy’s start-up “Bumblebee Spaces” takes a novel approach: put everything in the ceiling.

Carlo Ratti Associati's Proposed Milan Science Campus Features Robotically-Assembled Brick Facades

Carlo Ratti Associati has released details of their schematic design for the University of Milan’s new science campus, featuring robotically-assembled brick facades, porous communal areas, and natural oases. Working in collaboration with Australian real estate group Lendlease, the “Science for Citizens” proposal will sit within a new Milan Innovation District, located on the site of Milan’s 2015 World Expo.

Located within this new district, and home to over 18,000 students and 2,000 researchers, the “Science for Citizens” proposal seeks to “put forward a vision for an open campus that becomes a testing ground for innovative education while fostering exchanges between the university and the surrounding innovation neighborhood.”

Carlo Ratti's Writing Robot Transforms Your Wall into an Artistic Canvas

Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has unveiled Scribit, a “writing robot” which draws images and text on any wall surface, turning office, living, and bathroom walls into a blank canvas for artistic expression. Using in-built engines, Scribit can draw, cancel, and re-draw new content an infinite number of times, allowing users to print different images, messages, or feeds every day.

Scribit is always connected to the internet, allowing users to download, upload or source any online content. Operating in real time, Scribit immediately reproduces any data sent to it by the user, be it a restaurant posting the day’s menu, a financial firm posting stock market updates in its lobby, or an art enthusiast projecting their own content on the living room wall.

Courtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo MangiaCourtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo MangiaCourtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo MangiaCourtesy of Gary di Silvio and Giacomo Mangia+ 8

New Construction Robot Lays Bricks 3 Times as Fast as Human Workers

A new construction worker has been lending high-efficiency help to job sites, laying bricks at almost three times the speed of a human worker. SAM (short for Semi-Automated Mason) is a robotic bricklayer that handles the repetitive tasks of basic brick laying, MIT Technology Review reports. While SAM handles picking up bricks, applying mortar and placing them at designated locations, its human partner handles worksite setup, laying bricks in specific areas (e.g. corners) and improving the aesthetic quality of the masonry.

Self-Aware Nanobots Form Futurist Megastructures in this Thesis Project from the AA

Architecture is a swarm, and a self aware one at that. That's the vision presented by noMad: a built environment made of Buckminster Fuller-like geometric structures that compile themselves entirely autonomously, according to data gathered and processed by the units. Developed by Architectural Association students Dmytro Aranchii, Paul Bart, Yuqiu Jiang, and Flavia Santos, on a basic level noMad's concept is fairly simple - a small unit of motors that is attached to several magnetic faces, which can be reoriented into different shapes. Put multiple units together, however, and noMad's vision becomes an entirely new form of architecture: non-finite, mobile and infinitely adaptable.

Courtesy of Dmytro AranchiiCourtesy of Dmytro AranchiiCourtesy of Dmytro AranchiiCourtesy of Dmytro Aranchii+ 21

Digitized Stone: ZAarchitects Develop “Smart Masonry”

When one hears the term masonry architecture, digital fabrication and automated construction processes are probably not the first ideas to come to mind. By its very nature, the architecture produced with stone masonry is often heavy, massive, and incorporates less natural light than alternative methods. However, with their research proposal for "Smart Masonry," ZAarchitects are proposing to change masonry buildings as we know them and open opportunities for digital fabrication techniques in stone and other previously antiquated materials. Read on after the break to get a glimpse of what these new masonry buildings could look like and learn more about the process behind their construction.

Courtesy of ZAarchitectsCourtesy of ZAarchitectsCourtesy of ZAarchitectsCourtesy of ZAarchitects+ 11

IAAC Invents a Family of Robots to 3D Print Structures of Any Size

One of the major challenges in translating 3D Printing technology into architecture has been the issue of scale. So far, this has generally resulted in ever larger printers, with one of the most successful examples being the KamerMaker, which has been used to 3D print a Dutch Canal House in 2x2x3.5 metre chunks. However, recognizing the limitations on the size of 3D printers, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has developed a family of three small, mobile robots which together can print a structure of any size.

Read on after the break for more on the process.

The Grip Robot applies further layers to build up the shell. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of CataloniaThe Vacuum Robot can travel in any direction across the structure adding extra layers to strengthen the structure.. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of CataloniaThe Vacuum Robot. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of CataloniaStrengthening layers added by Vacuum Robot. Image Courtesy of Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia+ 14

MIT Develops Self-Assembling, Easy-Bake Robots