FAB Vernacular: Data-driven On-site Robotic Fabrication

2018  Darweesh, B., Bader, C., and Oxman, N. , Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium. 2018.,


The Digital Construction Platform (DCP) is an enabling technology for large-scale on-site fabrication utilizing real-time data for process control. The DCP is a micro-macro manipulator arm system composed of hydraulic and electric robotic arms carried on a tracked mobile platform. Following the vision of a self-sufficient robotic platform, the DCP is outfitted with sensors designed to obtain and extract environmental data that can inform geometric and material parameters relating to the built structure thereby enabling automated site-specific design and construction. We present a data-driven framework leveraging the capabilities of the DCP. By deploying wind, thermal, and topographic sensors, we generate a virtual representation of the site of potential construction. We then demonstrate how this virtual space might be combined with a parametric design environment to infer viable structures specifically tailored for that site. We also discuss further extensions of this framework, including real-time process control. We conclude that the emergence of on-site robotic technologies in architectural design will, in the future, enable higher degrees of design customization, offering flexibility and adaptation of shape and material composition informed by realtime environmental data from the construction site.

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