Cooperative robotics in architecture
Through the use of digital fabrication, particularly robotic construction, the design space for architectural structures has been significantly expanded to include bespoke complex geometries and to
allow for far more differentiation than manual construction processes. This leads to the question: how does this increase of design possibilities and its inherent increase in complexity affect the architectural design and profession per se. On the one hand they enable more freedom in the design process, on the other, this freedom needs to be analytically investigated and controlled in order to make use of its full potential. Robotic fabrication can be substantially enhanced through the employment of multiple cooperating machines, particularly for the assembly of spatial discrete element structures. Operating with more than one robotic arm allows for the exploitation of such processes by performing material manipulations on a shared fabrication task. However cooperative assembly processes come with a range of new challenges such as robot reachability and geometric dependencies that have to be addressed together with the digital design process itself. The presented research represents an insight into the complexities of cooperative robotic assembly and their influences on the architectural design methodologies.
Stefana Parascho is a PhD researcher at Gramazio Kohler Research, as part of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication at the ETH Zurich. She studied architecture at the University of Bucharest and the University of Stuttgart. She has worked for Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering and Design-to-Production Stuttgart and has taught and researched at the University of Stuttgart, Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design. Her current research focus lies in the development of multi-robotic assembly processes for architectural applications and integrative design methods for the design of robotically fabricated structures.