Saturday April 29, 2017

MIT Invents Robot That Can 3D-Print Buildings

Not that anyone wants to live in a dome that looks like cream cheese, but it is nice to see more headway on speedy, automatic building construction. It only took what I call MIT’s "swivel bot" 14 hours to construct the framework for a potential hideout, which would be finished using concrete. The ultimate goal for these is automated development in remote regions such as Antarctica, or Mars, even. Real-life StarCraft?

The system consists of a tracked vehicle that carries a large, industrial robotic arm, which has a smaller, precision-motion robotic arm at its end. This highly controllable arm can then be used to direct any conventional (or unconventional) construction nozzle, such as those used for pouring concrete or spraying insulation material, as well as additional digital fabrication end effectors, such as a milling head. Unlike typical 3-D printing systems, most of which use some kind of an enclosed, fixed structure to support their nozzles and are limited to building objects that can fit within their overall enclosure, this free-moving system can construct an object of any size.