Construction Automation

Construction AutomationPrerequisites: CAD/CAM 1 or permission of instructorThis advanced seminar introduces students to emerging technologies under the broad umbrella of construction automation. An extension of research on computer-aided design and manufacturing techniques, the seminar introduces the principles of robotics and automated systems in the context of architectural construction, with reference to product design and other industries. Lecture topics include a historic overview as well as an introduction to different types of robotic systems, automation systems and their elements. Techniques and strategies for programming industrial robots will be introduced, with an emphasis on the use of offline simulation and programming environments with graphical user interfaces. Distinctions between numerically-controlled machines and robotic systems will be made throughout.Based on lectures that introduce the fundamental principles students will research case studies of applications and advanced technologies in the first half of the course. The second half of the course is dedicated to developing and conducting immersion experiments with actual industrial robots and their associated programming/teaching environment. Experimental work will explore \'design for robotics\' both for on-site as well as off-site applications. Speculative and creative use of robotic material handling and fabrication approaches is encouraged. How is design and construction impacted by the introduction of automated, robotic systems? Project work can range from problem-solving to highly speculative in nature, and can emphasize any combination of digital as well as physical aspects.In addition to lectures and hands-on workshops there will be several guest lectures and field trips to visit local companies and researchers involved in commercial as well as speculative work in robotics.