Robots in traditional fabrication applications act as passive participants in the process of creation—simply performing a set of predetermined actions to materialize a completed design. We propose a novel bottom-up design
framework in which robots are instead given the opportunity to participate centrally within a creative design process. This paper describes how two 6-axis industrial robotic arms were used to cooperatively aggregate a collection of solid spherical units. The branching spatial structure being constructed is unplanned at the outset of this process, and is instead designed in pseudo-real time during construction. This ‘design-as-you-build approach relies on robotic input, in the form of path-planning constraints in tandem with human evaluation and decision-making. The resulting structure emerges from a human–robot design collaboration operating within the specified physical domain.
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