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Robots now build houses

A team of researchers from Swiss university ETH Zurich is to use robots to help assemble prefabricated timber modules into a 100 sq m, three-storey house. Source: Global Construction Review

The robots will install 487 load-bearing structures on the first two floors of the DFAB House, which is located in Dübendorf, on the eastern outskirts of Zurich. These will be visible behind a transparent façade after the home is completed.

The robots use information from a CAD model to cut and arrange the beams, then drill holes and connect them. Human workers bolt the beams together.

To prevent the robots colliding, researchers have developed an algorithm that constantly recalculates their paths of motion according to the current state of construction.

Matthias Kohler, a professor of architecture at ETH Zurich, said: “If any change is made to the project overall, the computer model can be constantly adjusted to meet the new requirements.

“This kind of integrated digital architecture is closing the gap between design, planning and execution.”

The work is being carried out with help of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research.

Youtube video and photo courtesy NCCR Digital Fabrication