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Zurich-based architects and roboticists have created the In-situ Fabricator, an autonomous construction robot capable of laying bricks into pre-programmed structures. Designers at the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication laboratory believe a future generation of the robot could be used widely on building sites.
Matthias Kohler, of ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), is one of the supervising professors on the research team. According to Kohler, who is also an architect, it is “the first machine that can actually go on construction sites and build non-standard designs, meaning designs which can vary and adapt to the local conditions directly in the building site.”
Professor Jonas Buchli supervises the research. He told Reuters that construction sites are fascinating to roboticists. “The construction site for us, as a robotics researcher, is an interesting environment because it somewhere in between the completely planned and controlled environment of a factory or a lab floor, and the completely chaotic environment of outdoors, so it’s kind of a semi-structured environment where we can test and develop the technology that is required for robots to move around and do useful things in such environments,” said Buchli. […]