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There has always been a close relationship between architecture and technology. Yet, in recent times, architecture has stagnated and the construction industry has been slow to adopt technologies that are already well established in other fields. Robotics and Additive Manufacturing offer great potential towards innovation within the construction industry.
A research group at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (iaac.net), based in Barcelona set on a goal of reelaborating 3D printing techniques so as to overcome existing limitations of this technique in large-scale.
The objective was to develop a family of small scale construction robots, all mobile and capable of constructing objects far larger than the robot itself. Moreover, each of the robots developed was to perform a diverse task, linked to the different phases of construction, finally working together as a family towards the implementation of a single structural outcome. Hence, instead of one large machine, a number of much smaller robots working independently, but in coordination, towards a single goal.