University Project Makes Robots That Can Build A Pavillion Out Of Carbon Fiber [Video]By Mark Spencer, UniversityHerald Reporter
Researchers and students have built a new pavilion out of carbon fiber, but they did not lift a muscle to accomplish the task. The project was done by employing drones and robots to construct the entire structure.
The group responsible for the project was composed of an interdisciplinary group of draftsmen, designers, and scholars from the University of Stuttgart in Germany. The nearly 40-foot long cantilevering structure was produced by using more than 110 miles worth of woven resin, fiberglass and carbon fiber.
Somewhat considered as a miracle material, carbon fiber is light enough for robots and drones to lift with ease. The team reportedly employed stationary robots and long-range drones for the project.
The stationary robots were placed at both ends of the structure that have industrial robotic arms that are strong and precise enough for fiber winding work. Additionally, a custom-built long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was utilized for the less precise fiber transportation system by passing fiber from one side to the other, Dezeen reported.
According to Popular Mechanics, the development of the structure was inspired by the smooth structure of moth webs. They aptly named the finished structure as the ICD/ITKE Research Pavillion 2016/17. The finished structure is the latest the pavilion series built annually by students and researchers. Their aim is to explore the capabilities of carbon fiber as a viable building material by taking inspiration of natural structures in the natural world.
Currently, there is still no carbon fiber fabrication process, which is economical enough to make constructions mainstream. However, it is now proven that the material itself provides exceptional building qualities. The team says in cases of materials where self-weight is of prime concern for larger structures, lightweight fiber composite structures provide unparalleled performance.
The pavilions created by the University of Stuttgart, inspired by animal constructs are somewhat of a tradition. Last year's inspiration was sea urchins. Who knows from which animal construct they will borrow inspiration from next year?