FUNDING: NSF – CMMI WASTE-FREE ROBOTIC CONSTRUCTION OF SPATIAL DISCRETE ELEMENT STRUCTURES

The construction industry is one of most resourceā€intensive sectors and yet much civil infrastructure continues to be constructed with traditional waste-intensive approaches. However robotic added manufacturing is projected to significantly disrupt the construction industry in the next decades. Its advantages include productivity gains, reduced labor costs, safer working environments and one-off, complex building designs that are not technically and economically feasible at present. Current building forms, constructed with robots, have significant economic and environmental consequences due to their construction process, which is still deeply rooted in a pre-robotic construction rationale. During construction, these forms need form and shore work, which goes to waste once the entire structure is completed. The research will develop computational and physical approaches for the analysis, construction-focused design, and robotic assembly of long span discrete structures, to build without any form or shore work waste. Additionally, this project will enhance research experiences for high school, undergraduate and graduateĀ  students as well as a postdoctoral researcher, and will provide outreach to the K-12 minority community through an annual conference and an institutional summer materials research academy.