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Permalink to Robots and Absolut Originality

Robots and Absolut Originality

This fall, Robots in Architecture teamed up with Absolut Vodka (Pernod Ricard Austria) to create a unique robot installation for their new “Absolut Originality” limited edition vodka series.

Taking inspiration from traditional Swedish glass crafts, every bottle of Absolut Originality has a drop of cobalt blue infused into its glass. This colouring technique has been used for centuries in hand-made art glass, but never before has it been applied to create four million original bottles. Added just as the molten glass goes into the mould at 1100°C, the drop of cobalt blue streams down inside the glass creating a unique streak of blue. At that temperature the cobalt is invisible, but as the glass cools off, a beautiful and unique blue infusion appears.
Source: Absolut

Our  goal was to create unique T-shirts based on portraits of their owners-to-be via robotic spraypainting. We take a picture, transfer it via the camera’s WiFi connection to a laptop running Rhinoceros/Grasshopper and  process it using a specially developed vectorizing component. This data is then passed on to KUKA|prc, which immediately previews the robot’s kinematic movements and outputs a KRL file.

The spraypainting-strategy was developed in cooperation with the Viennese graffiti artist Skirl, under consideration of the robot’s kinematics to create a solution that is both aesthetically and technically optimized. Hardware-wise, a customized endeffector was 3D-printed via Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and equipped with two slightly modified Colani sprayguns. On the robot side, we used a black KUKA Agilus robot whose high-speed internal air valves controlled the flow of air to the sprayguns.

Over the course of a month, the robot installation was exhibited at five locations throughout Austria: At Kare, Passage Club, Blickfang Design Fair, Elevate Festival, and Rauch Club. Producing more than 500 T-shirts (themselves limited and numbered, just like the vodka), we had a great time and the privilege of working with an excellent team around us.

In other news, the Rob|Arch 2014 paper deadline is quickly approaching, You can submit your scientific papers until December 1st. As the Springer time-schedule is very tight, we do not expect to be possible to grant an extension of that period.

To support young researchers in the field of robots in architecture, art, and design, the KUKA Young Potential Award (worth 2500 USD) will be granted again in 2014 to the best scientific paper at Rob|Arch by a researcher of 35 years or less. Last Rob|Arch’s winner was Ryan Luke Johns of Greyshed for his paper Augmented Reality and the Fabrication of Gestural Form.

Permalink to Absolut Originality

Absolut Originality

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo launch their 2013 limited edition – where every bottle is individual and unique – Absolut Vodka teamed up with Robots in Architecture to create an interactive robot graffiti installation that is now going on tour. Every t-shirt is personalized to be as individual as its owner, with a dash of (Absolut) blue.

Supported by KUKA with a black KUKA Agilus robot and realized using KUKA|prc.

The next few dates:

10. – 12.10.  @ Kare Cityhaus Vienna

18. – 20.10. @ Blickfang Design Fair Vienna

More to follow!









Permalink to KUKA|prc: Major Release and Support Forum

KUKA|prc: Major Release and Support Forum

We are proud to announce a new release of KUKA|prc that includes a large list of new features and improvements, including…

  • Experimental support for external, linear axis (members only)
  • Improved NC-file support via SprutCAM (members only)
  • Added KUKA KR180 R2500 Quantec robot
  • New KUKA KR150-2 variant (access via right-click, variants)
  • Added new spindle as used at University of Sydney
  • Improved Command Weaver to work optionally with tree branches instead of items (use it e.g. to create more complex fabrication strategies)
  • Experimental new output in the Virtual Robot component sums up the difference of axis positions, can be used to spot singularities
  • New option for tool change command to just change geometry (e.g. gripper open to gripper closed)
  • Option to set the project’s initial LIN and PTP speed in “Advanced Settings”
  • Option for improved compatibility with older KRC2 (and KRC1) controllers (BAS PTP_PARAMS, etc.)

Alongside KUKA|prc we are also officially launching the Robots in Architecture forum at With the continuous growth of KUKA|prc, we want to provide a knowledge base for all users of KUKA|prc. We have already started adding content to the forum, such as several KUKA|prc tutorials and examples. Members of the Association for Robots in Architecture have access to a locked members download area with intermediate releases and special features. If you or your institution are a member of the Association, please register at the forum and send your username to

You can download KUKA|prc from our homepage and Food4Rhino.

The video above showcases work done by Andreas Ettmayer, Alexandra Heiderer, Bernd Seidl, and Regina Blauensteiner during our Digital Design to Digital Production course at TU Vienna. Of course, the programming of these custom robotic fabrication strategies using non-standard tools was done parametrically via KUKA|prc.


Permalink to Robots in Architecture down under

Robots in Architecture down under

In the past weeks, Robots in Architecture led 4 robot workshops in Australia and Asia. As part of the CAAD Futures conference, a two-day robot workshop took place at Tongji University, which will soon be getting two brand-new KUKA Quantec robots. Shortly thereafter – but 7000km away – another two day workshop took place at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia with a KUKA Agilus robot provided by Headland. The next week was spent at RMIT in Melbourne, where we – together with 10 students – developed a new fabrication process combining robotic hotwirecutting and assembly on a really impressive robot setup, consisting of a KUKA KR150 arm on a 4m long linear rail and vacuum gripper (see video above). Tomorrow, Friday 26th, marks the last day of a one-week robot workshop at the University of Sydney – more photos/videos to follow soon!

We want to thank our hosts, especially Chengyu Sun in Shanghai, Chris and Jonathan at Bond, Jane, Andrew, Roland, and Rafael at RMIT, and Dagmar, Marjo, and Gabe at USydney for inviting us – we had a great time!

Tongji University @ CAAD Futures





Bond University





More photos are available on our Facebook page

Last-minute reminder: Tomorrow, Friday 26th, Robots in Architecture Keynote at University of Sydney, 10am

Permalink to Robotic Forming

Robotic Forming

A few weeks ago the Association for Robots in Architecture hosted a robot workshop at the IUAV’s Master Digital Architecture in Venice. We introduced about 20 students to digital, robotic fabrication – from parametric toolpath design to coupling material simulation with complex robotic processes. In the video, we used a KUKA Agilus robotic arm to locally heat up plastic sheets and then to form them over a modular tool. The robot programming was done in KUKA|prc, while the physics simulation coupled KUKA|prc with Kangaroo. Special thanks to the IUAV for the invitation, in particular Fabio, Alessandro, Leonidas, and their students!

The topic of robotic forming will be explored at our “Virtual Prototyping” robot workshop at the upcoming CAAD Futures 2013 conference in Shanghai.

Permalink to Final Call for Rob|Arch 2014 Workshop Proposals

Final Call for Rob|Arch 2014 Workshop Proposals

The organizing committee of the Rob|Arch 2014 conference and the Association for Robots in Architecture are inviting the community to submit workshop proposals for the upcoming Rob|Arch 2014 conference (May 14th to 18th, 2014). A total budget of 15.000USD is available to financially support the workshops.
One of the defining elements of Rob|Arch 2012 were the eight robot workshops that were offered all over Europe. European universities not only organized their own workshops, but also hosted teams from the American universities Harvard and SciArc.
For Rob|Arch 2014, the host universities of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon have additional robot capacities for external workshops. We are encouraging workshop proposals until 15.6.2013. See for more details.
In other news, there are several robot workshops and lectures upcoming: Robots in Architecture will hold a lecture at the “BIM for Life Cycle Structures” symposium in Vienna (June 13th to 14th), alongside other presenters such as Tobias Schwinn (from ICD Uni Stuttgart – refer to their great robotic research pavilions), Christian Derix from AEDAS, Baris Cokcan of 2Architects-Int, Martin Tamke of CITA, and Stephan Laub of LaubLab/VrayforC4D. Registration is free for students.
Later in June (27th to 28th) the 7th National Symposium on Digital Design takes place in Istanbul/Turkey, with a robot workshop that is offered in cooperation with KUKA Turkey and ITU. Soon thereafter, from July 3rd to 5th, we are doing a two-day robot workshop in Shanghai as part of the upcoming CAAD Futures 2013 conference.

Permalink to SciArc is looking for a Robotics Lab Coordinator

SciArc is looking for a Robotics Lab Coordinator

SciArc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, is looking for a Robotics Lab Coordinator for their 1000sqft Robot House containing no less than six Staeubli robots. They are one of the leading institutions in the area of robots in architecture and are involved in several really exciting projects:

At the last Rob|Arch in Vienna, SciArc’s Jonathan Proto and Brandon Kruysman hosted a robot workshop with three cooperating Staeubli arms. The Phantom Geometry project developed within the Robot House gained wide media coverage and won the Gehry prize. See the SciArc’s Vimeo channel for more projects and videos.

For more details and a detailed job description, download the attached Word file and contact

Permalink to New KUKA|prc Release

New KUKA|prc Release


We have updated KUKA|prc with a range of new features!

  • KUKA KR125/2 robot has been added to the range of available robots
  • LIN and PTP movements now accept also planes as input (right-click/Input Type)
  • After the initial calculation, speed is much improved (up to 400%)
  • Kinematic solver has been improved to more accurately reflect the robot’s internal solver

This version has been tested by members of the Association for Robots in Architecture for several weeks and should be stable for both Rhinoceros 4 and Rhinoceros 5 users. If you run into any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us!

The download also contains a brief tutorial to get you started with KUKA|prc. Download it from the KUKA|prc page.

Permalink to Rob|Arch 2014 Announced & Call for Workshop Proposals

Rob|Arch 2014 Announced & Call for Workshop Proposals

Rob|Arch 2014 – Robotic Fabrication for Architecture, Art, and Design
Workshops: 14.-16.05.2014 / Conference: 17.-18.05.2014
Conference Chair: Wes Mcgee and Monica Ponce de Leon / University of Michigan

ROB|ARCH has been initiated by the Association for Robots in Architecture as a new conference series on the use of robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design, closely linking industry with cutting-edge research institutions. In December 2012 the conference was hosted by its founders in Vienna, Austria. In 2014 the conference travels to North America, hosted by the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Continuing with the previous theme of international collaboration, the conference seeks to bring together artists, designers, fabricators, and industry leaders for the purpose of advancing the discourse surrounding robotic fabrication. Following on the success of ROB|ARCH 2012, the conference will again present a series of workshops held at select research institutions on the east coast of the United States, aimed at exposing the advanced capabilities of applied robotic research. Following the workshops, the conference will span two days at the University of Michigan Campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, about an hour outside of Detroit, the origin of robotics in North America. The internationally renowned publishing house Springer Wien/New York will publish and market the proceedings of the conference worldwide.

For the 2014 event, we are extending a call for workshop proposals. See for more information.

15.4.2013 1st Call for Workshops
15.5.2013 2nd Call for Workshops
15.6.2013 Workshop Submission Deadline
01.7.2013 Workshop Notification

Permalink to KUKA|prc at IAAC and Robots in Architecture events

KUKA|prc at IAAC and Robots in Architecture events

The robot team at IAAC, among them Gabriel-Bello Diaz and Alexandre Dubor who presented their paper on Magnetic Architecture at Rob|Arch 2012, are members of the Association for Robots in Architecture and using KUKA|prc for their robot courses. They have posted images and videos of their recent Machinic Conversations course at the IAAC Blog. We’re really thrilled what they did with KUKA|prc!

2013 is also shaping up to be a busy year for the Association for Robots in Architecture: At the end of January, we were invited by INA to hold a robot workshop at the Hochschule Trier in Germany, followed by a workshop for KUKA CEE‘s robot partners in Turkey in February. In March, Robots in Architecture held a lecture as part of the Computation Design an Architecture in Turkey conference in Istanbul, and a KUKA|prc workshop at the IEU’s department of architecture in Izmir, Turkey. Just last week, we had the pleasure to hold an evening lecture at Co-de-iT‘s and rese-arch‘s Digital Architecture Symposium, which was part of their CTRL.SHIFT workshop in Vienna.





The following events are upcoming:

25.4. – 26.4.: Lecture at the KUKA Idea Exchange in Upper Austria

26.4. – 27.4.: Robot workshop with a KUKA Agilus at IUAV in Venice

14.5.: KUKA|prc workshop at CAADRIA 2013 in Singapore

1.7. – 2.7.: Robot workshop at CAAD Futures 2013 in Shanghai

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