Robots: the future of building? (UCL)

Robots: the future of building? (UCL)


[ Music]>>There’s almost an
emotional response to a robot, you know, there is this kind
of idea that a robot is sort of an artificial human. But of course, all
the other things that make architecture what it
is are the things that come, you know, beyond the mechanical, beyond the automated. And what Gramazio and
Kohler are doing in Zurich that’s really
fascinating to us is they’re breaking away from
the idea that a robot is there to do menial, repetitive
tasks and they’re intervening in that world. They’ve been able to
programme what the robot does. In a way, they’re kind of using
it as an extension of their own bodies,
their own tools, and changing what it
does as it moves along. [ Music ]>>Robots have been around
for the good part of 90 years. They really got going
in the 1970s, the 1980s, and there are more sophisticated
robots than this, but the fact that they’ve been
brought into an environment where they’re being
used as design tools is the exciting thing.>>Now that the tools,
both the hardware and software, are becoming more
affordable and easier to use, architects have actually been
able to use the same kind of tools that have been
out of reach for so long. So, yes, it’s only the
beginning of things, but we really see
some opportunities in design and fabrication. They won’t necessarily
build whole buildings, but this country does
have very old building stock; so we literally need to retrofit
thousands of buildings every day to meet up with demand. And so it’s certainly worthwhile
considering how these kind of technologies can work
alongside traditionally skilled labour to actually be able to
keep this country’s buildings up to the standard
that they need to be.>>What we’re looking at now with these technologies
is, we can bring them into the academic environment
and students and academics can, in effect, experiment
with the idea of building, the idea of making. I think that opens
up a very exciting new domain for universities, it
might be that we are starting to be regarded potentially as
a place to prototype things that might not be
prototyped elsewhere. We can carry a certain
level of risk that the commercial world can’t
carry in the sense that research that fails is very valuable, but in the commercial
world it’s a slightly — it’s obviously a very
different scenario. So I think this technology
opens up not just something for architects, but
for universities across the whole built
environment sector and allows us to do things
that can’t be done elsewhere. [ Music ]

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