Robotic Technologies and Architecture


In this study, the effects of robot technologies, which are one of the most important developments of the modern era, on architecture are discussed. it is still mentioned how much the architecture can absorb and the architects keep up with this technology. It has been tried to solve the subject by increasing the variety of design, providing security, establishing labor balance, reducing workload and cost. It was first mentioned in which industries it was used and then how it spread.

The reason why users prefer to be used in architecture and for reasons of expansion is stated. After the examples that were used before, the cause and effect relationship is emphasized. Robotic arms working principle is mentioned according to the integration of robot technologies to architecture and different cases. The pavilion, designed and manufactured by ETH Zurich’s Digital Production studio students, used robot technology to minimize material waste in the construction of wooden structures. Wolf Prix proposes the use of robotic arms with a China-based front company to assemble the interior of the central circulation volume called Cloud robot for the ShenZen Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) project.

. Robots to Re-Construction’s The Bots2ReC project aims to eliminate asbestos pollution by using mobile robotic units at automated construction sites. In the demolition industry, most jobs are based on hand-operated operation that exposes employees to high dust, sound and vibration using machinery or hand tools. Exposure to asbestos fibers is very dangerous for humans; therefore, in order not to jeopardize the health of the workers in this area, intensive security measures should be taken.

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Robot technologies can be activated in this situation which is a health problem for human.

Technological advances started a golden age at early millenniums for the overall architectural history. By the time science and technological developments accelerate for a large scale. Most of the developments and inventions found in second half of 20th century. And these technological developments impacted architecture with design and function. Studying with computer technologies gave flexibility to designing buildings with different organic and inorganic shapes. With different materials structures have been changed and envolved. Old design trends changed with new trends. The International Modern Movement had a language with flat roofs, cubic look and less ornament of its buildings gave an international perspective. First steamy elevators, LED lighting systems, concrete and computers impacted architecture for design and functionality positive way. By those findings, it has been made a new architectural age with the function and design approaches.

In this age, inventions became artificial intelligence based robots. Human resource lost their significance to robotics. There was no such problem in the industry based on mass production. At this time, for example, when a person buys a custom-designed car, that person has the right to ask for a special seat. Robotic arms, ordinary CNC machines or processes beyond the CAD-CAM processes can be performed. Industrial robots are becoming increasingly important for the design industry, as it enables the production of new geometries and different processes. Bier H. (2015) reported that Robotic Building (RB) implies both physically built robotic environments and robotically supported building processes. Robotics after just a few years will become a key point for the overall construction industry. Raising of the robotic technologies for architectural design environment integrated to the question that how construction techniques have changed by the time. Effective architectural robots have a great future in structured environments. The usage of robotic technologies high key connected with architecture, art, and design. In recent works, robots have been used by industrial manufacturers, until this time, architects begin to use robotics widely. Robotic Fabrication is not similar to other fabrication styles. An industrial robot is a multifunctional, kinematic machine so it can be used widely perspectives. The main problem is robots have been an obstacle from the taking over the construction and fabrication industry for their difficult programming. Giving architects the knowledge and tools to program industrial robots is one of our main areas for research. In the age of digitalization, virtualization, and computerization, the relationship between architects and robots has been appeared to be growing. The kinematics of the robot still not completely integrated overall with industry yet. The robotic system must be included in a more sophisticated design tool. The elements that the architect thinks at the design stage can be printed in three-dimensional models today. The house will soon be printed. The structure will be fragmented into small dimensions, they will be combined and created in the house. Each of these components will be located in the 3D printer’s library.

The use of robots, combined with digital design tools, means that a new aesthetics is possible with new shapes and patterns that are not possible with new machines. With the flexibility in the workplace, the robot supports undercuts and works from all sides. Industrial robots have recently captivated by architects. The first construction robots were designed in Japan in the early 70s to improve quality in the prefabrication of modular houses. Automobile manufacturing processes, shipbuilding, and ideas from the chemical industry were adapted to the construction industry. Toyota, an automobile company, was leading the automation of construction processes. Robots entered the construction site to perform special tasks such as spraying, concrete smoothing, material distribution, ceiling installation, mold assembly, facade assembly, painting and so on.

The terminology of ‘industrial robot’ included robotic arms or series articulated robots that are most common in the automotive industry and are used in a variety of tasks, such as spot-welding or spray-painting. However, with the advantages of robotics, robotic technology has been spread to the construction industry. There are a number of research projects aimed at mobilizing robots for on-site robotic production. It is not surprising to observing that a significant development has not yet been achieved when the robotic arms, which are detached from their regular and sterile environments and which are not structured due to the nature of the construction site, are brought to a constantly changing and relatively dirty construction site and are handled with classical industrial automation approaches. For looking an example, the 1: 1 scale wooden prototype, built as part of a master’s course in ETH Zürich, and the process of producing and assembling these components. Existing wood production lines utilize CNC technologies for machining small parts with machining. These pieces are then manually assembled to form larger components. According to Eversmann, Gramazio and Kohler, the digital process chain between design and construction breaks during the manual installation of mechanical and functional components. This can lead to the loss of not only some of the information and sensitivity in the digital process but also the unexplored spatial, structural and manufacturing potentials. In order to test the continuity of the digital process, a robotics mechanism was created to manufacture and then assemble the structure and outer shell of a two-story wooden shed, and a feedback system was established to define the raw material of different sizes and to adapt the model accordingly. In addition to two industrial robotic arms on a linear axis, the material feed station inside the cell is specially designed with a parallel pneumatic gripper to center and stabilize the material during the cutting procedure, a controllable CNC saw with three servo motors and integrated aluminum rails for fixing planks. a cutting table is designed. When the production of 4,000 pieces is different, there is no question the need for establishing an interactive mechanism in this way. The prefabrication process of the structure is as follows: Slats are placed on the assembly table and the robot moves to the starting position. The robot then grasps the beam and moves it towards the rotary saw to be cut as programmed, then takes its place in the structure to form the beam scissors and is manually fixed. It is a highly detailed process to recalculate the geometry with the measurement data and to calculate the algorithm which will adopt the process between the digital and physical model within the small tolerances, grasp the material in certain angles, cut it in different lengths or drill at different depths. This way, however, a process can produce and test 4,000 different parts within five weeks and enable on-site assembly.

Wolf Prix is one of those who thinks that it is a way to bring structural components together in an experimental way to improve the construction process. In order to assemble the interior of the central circulation volume called in Cloud Eph for the ı Cloud Eph project in Shenzen, the use of robotic arms with a China-based front company is proposed. The recommendation uses standard robotic components known from heavy manufacturing assembly lines. The procedure is as follows: First, a mechanical press shapes the metal panels (standard technique). The panels brought to the construction site are placed with the integrated end element in the articulated robot arms lifted by mechanical crane platforms, boiled and polished and polished. Although the client opted to cancel Cloud’s robotic manufacturing plan and instead combine metal panels with traditional methods, it is perhaps even a really effective way to try these methods in a country where work fees are quite low. In this paper, it has been mentioned that the robot arm is unthinkable but capable of programming system, but it works in unmanned environments, while it is quite good and lean in repetitive tasks. Robots to Re-Construction’s The Bots2ReC project aims to eliminate asbestos pollution by using mobile robotic units at automated construction sites. In the demolition industry, most jobs are based on a hand-operated operation that exposes employees to high dust, sound, and vibration using machinery or hand tools. Exposure to asbestos fibers is very dangerous for humans; therefore, in order not to jeopardize the health of the workers in this area, intensive security measures should be taken. The Bots2ReC project was initiated with the aim of alan introducing, testing and verifying the operational process in which an asbestos contamination will be solved by autonomous robotic systems in a real rehabilitation area B. As can be seen in this paper, each unit consists of the scraper end elements attached to the robot arms on the mobile platform. A combination of optical and radar sensor systems was used to detect the environment and to receive local notifications. Finally, a user interface has been added in which the operator can select different fields on the virtual representation of the rehabilitation area and assign tasks to be executed autonomously.

In conclusion this paper it has been focused on the question that ‘Why do construction industry need robots in architecture? Just to reduce the workforce?’ When used in conjunction with digital design methods, robots make a new aesthetic approach in architecture. It creates a safe and healthy work environment by balancing the use of human power in the right areas. By using computational design methods to optimize geometry and to introduce new materials into robotic architectural production, lightweight materials are produced using the minimum material. Without the features of the robots being sensitive to high sensitivity and good at repetition, it seems very difficult to achieve the expected style change in architecture and move to cost-effective production.


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