The In-situ Fabricator: Foreshadowing the Future


Credit: NCCR Digital Fabrication

Bricklaying robots are nothing new, but the technology behind the National Centre for Competence in Research Digital Fabrication laboratory’s latest creation certainly is. The In-situ Fabricator is said to be the first machine that can travel around construction sites and build non-standard designs. It boasts technology enabling it to be aware of its position on the construction site and to adapt to uncertainties, such as deviations from the design or even dropped tools.

However, don’t expect to see robots taking over construction sites soon; the research team claims there is still a way to go before the In-situ Fabricator is considered fully autonomous and of practical use. In particular, researcher Timothy Sandy explains that the current model is limited by the fact that it currently has to re-localise itself every time it moves position: ‘In future the robot should be continuously aware of its position, even when in motion, and capable of steady and accurate construction’.

Click here for videos of the In-situ Fabricator in action.


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