IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia)
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Minibuilders team (Shihui JIN, Stuart MAGGS, Dori SADAN, Cristina NAN, Saša JOKIĆ, & Petr NOVIKOV): There has always been a close relationship between technology and architecture. However, recently development within the construction industry has stagnated, slow to adopt advances in other industries. . . .
Whilst we design digitally we still construct manually. Robotics in their current form are not well suited for construction, there main limitation being that they need to be larger than the objects they want to create. This technology is not scalable. Minibuilders, a family of small agile robots capable of building structures much larger than themselves.
Each of the these small robots performs a different task, working together towards the implementation of a single structural outcome. Hence substituting one large machine for a number of smaller robots. Allowing this system to overcome the limitations of scale, to build large scale objects. The first, the foundation robot, produces the initial base for the second “Grip robot” to attach and create the main shell of the structure. The third robot, the suction robot then deposits layers of material to structurally optimize the shell.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
Minibuilders team: The work of Neri Oxman certainly had a huge impact on the development of the project, as well as Elon Musk and Adrian Thompson.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
Minibuilders team: Reading The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, which is really captivating.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
Minibuilders team: At the moment, the things SpaceX is doing are inspiring—great design and vision.
Additional credits and links:
We have tried to make the robots as open as possible by sharing the scientific paper openly. We encourage others to investigate this line of research, to imagine other Minibuilders and the exciting opportunities they could do.
The project was also documented in this website and movie.