CODE to MATTER - Integrating Industrial Robotic Arms: Reconciling the Rapid Advancement of Digital Potentials with a Tangible Physical Existence
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In the context of digital fabrication in architecture, this thesis is an initial exploration into the use of a 6-axis industrial robotic arm in architectural design. Industrial robots are most commonly known for their use in automation, where the intent is primarily geared towards efficiency and standardization, which neglects the potential for an added value in design. This thesis explores how the symbiotic relationship between the industrial robot arm, human, and material can provide a unique opportunity for design exploration. The driving concepts for this project are three distinct features of an industrial robot: digital environment, mechanical arm, and end-effector. It will be argued that the second and third of these features are unique to the robotic arm (and absent from other conventional CNC tools). Of particular interest is how these distinct features can influence the way we make and think about design. An industrial robot will be examined through case studies and literature reviews to help illustrate the versatile potential of such robots in the production of architectural elements and assemblies; proposing a potentially efficient, and highly integrated alternative to accepted norms of design/making as it relates to digital fabrication in the architectural design process.
- Architecture