The Robot that Prints your Plans Directly onto the Ground
There are two ways you can view the technology that could potentially join us on construction sites all over world in the next decade. You can see it as a threat or you can see it as progress: automated help that takes some of the more routine tasks off our to do lists, to let us humans get on with the exciting stuff. The things that (currently) only humans have the capability for, like vision and imagination.
Whichever side of the fence you're on, there's no doubt that technology is coming to our construction sites in a big way over the next few years. Don't be surprised if you're onsite one day in the not too distant future, and you look down to see a little round robot working away, drawing the architect's plans, at a 1:1 ratio on the ground beneath your feet. The automated help you'll be face to face with is the 'Archibot.'
The Archibot is an invention from architectural designer Han Seok Nam which aims to revolutionise the way architects and contractors work onsite. It is designed to print “error free” CAD plans directly onto the ground which, Nam says, avoids the human errors that are sometimes made when interpreting construction plans.
The Archibot works in tandem with in-room sensors to print the exact plans directly onto the floor, which means that architects and contractors “will be able to grasp exactly where the door and the wall needs to be constructed by having the construction documents be printed directly onto the site without measurements. Errors will be easily detectable since the construction document can be directly compared to the life-size print out.”
Although Nam has received the patent for the Archibot, the technology is still in the prototype stage and Nam is working closely with industry experts and academics to ensure that the first working model lives up to its promise. As well as eliminating human errors, Nam hopes that his invention will also cut down on labour costs and boost efficiency. There is also hope that his technology could one day be applied to other industries such as civil engineering and shipbuilding.
The Archibot is a robotic printing machine that can automatically print out DWG file-based architecture plans on a construction site at a 1-to-1 scale. This means construction workers can easily build up dry walls along the printed lines without having to interpret documents or go through a marking out process themselves.
Although most of the manual marking out will be completed by Archibot, there's still a need for a human eye to oversee the robot's output and to ensure the space that the Archibot is working in is clear of debris. So it's comforting to know that there's still a place for human beings on construction sites, even if it's just to clear the way for the robots to get on with their work!
Images courtesy of Han Seok Nam