The construction industry is among the slowest to change among all business types. When I have worked with them anticipating longer term trends and possible disruptions to traditional ways of doing business, the topic of construction robots always comes up. Autonomous robots that scale walls and build buildings piece by piece, or even nanoscale robots that enable buildings to essentially build themselves are a feature in many science fiction stories. But given the complexity of construction work, the industry has been skeptical that on-site building processes could be automated.
Now comes news via GizMag that the FRAC Centre in OrlÃ©ans, France will host an exhibition entitled “flight assembled architecture. set to run from December 2, 2011 through February 19, 2012. The exhibit will feature a 6-meter tall structure, made of 1500 prefabricated modules, to be constructed by a fleet of small quadrocopters. The flying robots are “programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room.”
Assuming that the actual build process is successful, here is what the tower is to look like.
The video of the robots in action, as designed by Raffaello D’Andrea, is pretty impressive to watch.