Technology has helped us build more efficiently whether it is through software or new advancement in materials but could robots replace human builders one day? Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea are certainly hinting at that notion as a possibility with their digital fabrication techniques. Their recent installation at the FRAC Centre in France, appropriately titled ‘Flight Assembled Architecture,’ is assembled completely with flying robots. The team programmed a squad of quadrotor helicopters to stack light-weight polyurethane foam bricks upon each other to form a wavy tower that stands 20 feet tall; a feat which took 1200 foam modules to complete. The installation itself was a model for an equally interesting vertical village envisioned by Gramazio & Kohler.
I find their accomplishment incredibly impressive despite it not being a ‘real’ structure made with ‘real’ brick. I think that as technology continues to progress there will be more frequent occurrences of robots executing tasks that have been traditionally performed by humans. Although it may be far off into the future I believe that it is possible for designers to one day program the construction of entire structures and task humans with supervision while teams of robots carry out the assembly.
Video of Installation Assembly: