Building a House Robotically

Is it possible to robotically construct a house? Maybe, maybe not, but Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineering professor, sure seems to think so. He has even completed a prototype for automated building of concrete walls. From there, he believes a revolution of building construction as we know it is possible.

Ultimately, it would work like this: On a cleared and leveled site, workers would lay down two rails a few feet farther apart than the eventual building’s width, and a computer-controlled contour crafter would take over from there. A gantry-type crane with a hanging nozzle and a components-placing arm would travel along the rails. The nozzle would spit out concrete in layers to create hollow walls and then fill in the walls with additional concrete, most likely an insulating variety that incorporates polystyrene beads. The placement arm would insert wiring, reinforcing rods, and plumbing and ventilation shafts in hollow chases left in the walls, welding and screwing sections together as the building rises. The arm would then place beams on top of the completed walls to form floors and the roof. Humans would hang doors and insert windows.

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