Trio of ‘Minibuilder’ Robots Create Structures With Concrete
Each Minibuilder performs its role using instructions provided by a central computer, as well as its own sensors and local positioning systems.
By Judith Pfeffer - Filed Jun 19, 2014

From the land that brought us Gaudi’s Cathedral comes the latest marvel in architecture: mobile 3D printers that create fabulous structures in one continuous process by laying down concrete.

The extrusion process is slow but solid, according to the team that's devised the Minibuilders at the The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in the city of Barcelona.

The Minibuilders team describes the procedure as follows: The Foundation Robot places the base. The Grip Robot at the top of that foundation moves as needed to lay down cement and instantly cure it so it can maintain its upward motion. Finally, a Vacuum Robot clings to the side of emerging structure and lays down perpendicular swatches of concrete.

Each Minibuilder performs its role using instructions provided by a central computer, as well as its own sensors and local positioning systems.

Working cooperatively, the three robots can build complex objects that would previously would have necessitated molds or similar equipment to produce.

The first construction completed by the Minibuilders is a demo piece created in the exterior exhibition space of the Design Museum of Barcelona, however, the team says its work will one day lead to 3D-printing robots constructing full-size structures.

Check out the video below to see the Minibuilders in action.

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