We’ve watched robots build their own children, and now, we can watch them build their own homes, too. Thanks to a new video released by London’s Architectural Association (AA), we have our first glimpse into what it looks like when a robot envisions a home for itself, and proceeds to construct it. In essence, the machine took a look at a group of trees, fed this data through an algorithm that created the blueprint for the final structure, and then the robot got to work.
It’s all part of a new MSc course called Design & Make which is being offered at the AA School, and it promises to focus on “robotic technologies and their application in timber construction.” According to program director Martin Self, robots are going to play an increasingly important role in 21st-century architecture.
“We are making robotics core to the research we do here, and believe there is particular potential in the application of natural forms in architecture, especially in combination with 3D-scanning technologies,” he told Dezeen.
While humans certainly helped in the construction of the final home, the machine was responsible for the planning and general crafting of the structure. The robot was able to scan wood collected from Hooke Park to determine the material’s strength, then used its mechanical arm to mill the wood and form interlocking connections.
“By combining the capabilities of robotic machining with 3D scanning and parametric design tools, new opportunities are being explored in which the inherent geometric form and structural qualities of wood are directly applied in architectural structures,” said Self.
The new course will be offered in the fall, and will span the course of a year, during which students will learn all about machines and construction. Students will utilize the AA School’s woodland research facility in Hooke Park, and incorporate natural resources in their projects.
“The rationale for this approach is that the diverse characteristics of local material can be exploited directly without wasteful industrial processing to first standardize and then add variation back to the component geometries,” Self noted.
So get ready, friends. Robots may soon be building our homes, and living in them with us.