Robotics Fundamentals: Perception, Mobility and Dexterity

Digital fabrication continues to establish itself as a transformative technology in a variety of industrial sectors; however, the sheer scale of architecture introduces unique challenges that drastically limit the effectiveness of traditional digital manufacturing workflows. For example, at architectural scales, materials that are often assumed to be rigid, such as wooden beams, deform significantly; structures often drift throughout the construction process, requiring real-time on-site adjustments; and the large span of construction sites demands proficiency in mobility and manoeuvrability.

By targeting novel software and hardware platforms to improve robotic perception, dexterity and mobility, we will enable robots to play an increasingly central role in creating new types of architectural structures with unprecedented complexity and functional properties. By introducing robotic technologies, we can make the building process more precise, enable building of types of objects that would not be possible by hand, and can make real-time adjustments to structures at the click of a button. As these hardware and software technologies mature, we will work with other projects within this NCCR to introduce them as part of their everyday practice, in order to enhance functionality and effectiveness of the developed processes.

Lead PI: Margarita Chli

Contributing PIs: Marco Hutter, Roland Siegwart, Stelian Coros

Photo Credit: Eduard Meltzer

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