Robots in Architecture

HAL V0.02 Update

Thibault Schwartz has updated his HAL robot plugin to version 0.02! You can get it from here.

*New components
TargetDeviationCheck utility
Tooldata declaration utility
Wobjdata declaration utility
Overrides utility

* Fixes
Kinematic Solver: bug with second axis rotation is solved Milling Head: endmill geometry is now generated. TCP plane error has been corrected.
Rapid Generator has been re-written, and is now working with work objects. A “CorrecTool” option allows to come back to the ancient behavior, which was based on a tool with a null quaternion. Speeds and Zones automatic prefix has been suppressed. It now handles 17000 couple of instructions (declaration & motion) / seconde.
The Rapid.mod has been slightly changed: you can now add declarations (ToolDatas, SpeedData, WobjData, etc.) and overrides (ConfJ, ConfL, SingArea, etc.)
The Toolpath Discretization component was buggy on polylines, it is fixed.
The Ruled Surface component is now a lot more complete, and allows to use a polycurve and extraction points to generate a toolpath for wirecutting.

KUKA|prc: Update

We’ve uploaded a new version of KUKA|prc, this is a bugfix release which fixes several problems reported by our members and was tested with the most up-to-date version of Grasshopper. Most importantly, it is no longer necessary to save settings to an external XML file – instead, the settings are embedded into the Grasshopper definition. Just click “Apply Settings” in the GUI and they are saved. Please note that this update breaks compatibility. If you open an existing GH file that contains a Grasshopper component, you will get an IO error and the KUKA|prc component will have disappeared. Just put it in again and re-connect it, and you’re good to go.

Members of the Association for Robots in Architecture are already using the KUKA|prc component for multi-100.000€ projects – more details coming soon.

Download the component from here or from Food4Rhino

Good news!

Good news, everyone! Exciting things are happening, the Association for Robots in Architecture has just received a very welcome grant from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) to explore the robotic fabrication of an  innovative building material, developed by an ambitious Austrian start-up company.

We’re also glad to announce that, as we already hinted a few days ago, Thibault Schwartz – developer of the HAL plugin for Grasshopper, has joined the Association of Robots in Architecture as a developing member. While we will keep on doing our “own stuff”, we and Thibault share a common vision of the use of robots in architecture. It is our strong belief that the sharing of knowledge is the way to go, so both KUKA|prc and HAL will profit from this partnership.

Preparations for the first conference on robots in architecture, art, and design – Rob|Arch 2012 – to be held in December 2012, are also well under way – we’ll have workshops ranging from agile 7-axis lightweight robots to heavy-duty concrete (!) milling robots, with several more robots in between. The topics and dates will be announced with the call for papers in mid-January – but be assured that with partners such as the University of Stuttgart, TU Graz, ETH Zurich, and TU Wien it’s going to be exciting!

HAL – A Grasshopper plugin for ABB robots


We’re proud to announce that Thibault Schwartz, developing member of the Association for Robots in Architecture, has recently published his HAL plugin for programming ABB robots out of Grasshopper. We got a sneak peak at his software when he visited us a few weeks ago and were really impressed, so check it out if you’ve got an ABB standing around!

You can download it from Thibault’s homepage

Robotic Punching – Revisited

In the past week, we got quite a few questions regarding the just-released KUKA|prc plugin. To demonstrate the use of KUKA|prc in a small parametric project, we’ve updated the Robotic Punching tutorial, known from our CAAD-Futures 2011 workshop.

You can download the Rhino, Grasshopper and KUKA|prc configuration-XML files as one ZIP file.

DOWNLOAD Robotic Punching with KUKA|prc

The PDF with a step-by-step guide of the initial parametric model is still available for download in the CAAD-Futures post.

KUKA|prc – Released!

KUKA|prc, the parametric robot control plugin for Grasshopper is now available for download at our homepage. Take a look at the walkthrough-video above to get started! We’re looking for feedback, so please post on the boards or send an eMail if anything isn’t working as intended!

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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