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The Times Online reported earlier this month that the first prototype of a full-sized home-building robot will be ready to output its first dwelling sometime before April.  Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis from UCLA says, “Your shoes, clothes, and car are already made automatically, but your house is built by hand and it doesn’t make sense.”

The robot works by using computer-controlled nozzles to spray “quick-drying liquid gypsum and concrete to form walls, floors, and roofs.”  The video above shows a miniature version creating small objects from layers of the material.

From the ‘Times article:

The robots are rigged to a metal frame, enabling them to shuttle in three dimensions and assemble the structure of the house layer by latyer.  The sole forman on site operates a computer programmed with the designer’s plans.

Wow.  I suppose we’re a long way from seeing a true variety of designs — beyond plain gypsum/concrete — but this is still pretty amazing.

Robo-Builder Threatens the Brickie [TimesOnline.co.uk] [via engadget]


2 Responses to Robot Built Houses?

  1. Trevor D. says:

    Cool idea, but I wonder what the costs would look like to build a house with this tech as opposed to traditional techniques, and how many people would be out of work?

  2. And, of course, you already can buy houses that’re “made automatically”; there are lots of very good pre-fab house designs these days, though they still have the stigma of the awful jumped-up trailers of yesteryear.

    It also makes perfect sense that very large and complex things cannot be “made automatically”. If you want the sort of house that cannot be trucked around in big prefabricated pieces, then it must by definition be assembled on site. And, as with other things that’re assembled on site, it’s easier to use lots of people to do the job than some machine that’s unlikely to be easier to move around than the houses it makes.

    There’s no rule of the universe that says that a house-building machine can’t exist, but this thing’s a long, long way away from it. A house is not just walls.

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