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[Cob] Robot builder could 'print' housesbobodod at cox.net bobodod at cox.net
Sat Mar 13 12:38:58 PST 2004
--=======4A692BFA======= Content-Type: text/plain; x-avg-checked=avg-ok-2FEB3B58; charset=iso-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Robot Builder Could Revolutionize Home Construction By Max Glaskin NewScientist.com 3-11-4 A robot for "printing" houses is to be trialled by the construction=20 industry. It takes instructions directly from an architect's computerised=20 drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete on top of one other= =20 to build up vertical walls and domed roofs. The precision automaton could revolutionise building sites. It can work=20 round the clock, in darkness and without tea breaks. It needs only power=20 and a constant feed of semi-liquid construction material. The key to the technology is a computer-guided nozzle that deposits a line= =20 of wet concrete, like toothpaste being squeezed onto a table. Two trowels=20 attached to the nozzle then move to shape the deposit. The robot repeats=20 its journey many times to raise the height and builds hollow walls before=20 returning to fill them. Engineer Behrokh Khoshnevis, at the University of Southern California, has= =20 been perfecting his "contour crafter" for more than a year. "The goal is to= =20 be able to completely construct a one-story, 2000-square foot home on site,= =20 in one day and without using human hands," he says. Now Degussa AG, of D"sseldorf, Germany, the world's largest manufacturer=20 and supplier of building materials, is to collaborate on the project to=20 help Khoshnevis find the best kind of building material. Mud and straw Khoshnevis has tested his prototype with cement but believes adobe, a mix=20 of mud and straw that is dried by the Sun, could be suitable. But Degussa=20 will be looking at other materials. Gerhard Albrecht, head of research at Degussa's speciality materials=20 subsidiary, Admixture, says the company is ready to develop materials=20 specifically for the contour crafting technology. Khoshnevis's prototype robot hangs from a movable overhead gantry, like the= =20 cranes at ship container depots. Khoshnevis speculates that they could also= =20 be ground-based, running along rails and able to build several houses at=20 one time. But it would be more difficult to create autonomous wheeled=20 robots that have sufficient accuracy and precision. The first house will be built in 2005. If the technology is successful the= =20 robot could enable new designs that cannot be built using conventional=20 methods, for example involving complex curving walls. Greg Lynn, a leading architect from Venice, California, said. "I believe=20 that aesthetically there's a great potential to make things that have never= =20 been seen before." =A9 Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd. http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=3Dns99994764 --=======4A692BFA======= Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; x-avg=cert; x-avg-checked=avg-ok-2FEB3B58 Content-Disposition: inline --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.613 / Virus Database: 392 - Release Date: 3/4/2004 --=======4A692BFA=======--
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