Robots at ACADIA

Robots at ACADIA

This year’s annual conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) took place up north in Banff/Canada. We had to leave Berlin early morning after the Design Modelling Symposium‘s social event and arrived in Calgary tired and jet-lagged, with 90kg of robot in tow.

Banff’s stunning scenery quickly got us awake again and the conference turned out to be expertly organized (Thank you, Jason, Branko, Vera, and Joshua!) – even the beer was fittingly named! And there were quite a few robot-papers as well, from Stuttgart, the University of Michigan and Harvard. Here are some of the highlights, in the order of presentation:

Prof. Achim Menges of the ICD at Stuttgart University presented the design and robotic fabrication of the 2010 research pavilion as well as several other robotically fabricated wood structures. You can read up on the research pavilion on their homepage.

The University of Michigan was represented by no less than three robotic papers, showing their SuperKUKA tools as well as several fascinating robot applications, ranging from robot-waterjet-cut stone vaults to a pavilion consisting of robotically bent steel rods – with many smaller projects shown as well. We were really impressed by the work of Wes, David, Maciej, Diana, and Parke – hopefully we’ll soon have the chance to cooperate on projects.

Andy Payne from Harvard, whom you might also know as one of the developers of Firefly, presented a new approach for robot control by creating a custom-made  “digitizer” for industrial robots. When you move this small device, a connected robot moves along with it in real time. He published an early version here – the version shown at ACADIA was quite a bit more advanced!

We presented our new KUKA|prc plugin, which you can now try out yourself – just click the KUKA|prc link on top!

You can download all the papers presented at ACADIA as always via the CUMINCAD index. If you aren’t a member, try to access it via your university’s IP range.

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