Through the astounding developments of robotic engineering, we may soon be seeing homes built almost completely by machine. And, as if that weren’t amazing enough, these machines can knock out a house in a single day.
Behrokh Khoshnevis, a University of Southern California engineering professor, developed the “Contour Crafting” robot (or CC robot, for short) to read an architect’s computer aided design (CAD) drawings and then create a full-sized house using 3D printing technology.
The benefits of robotic home building are substantial, from lower costs to eliminated waste material to dramatically shorter construction timeframes. The only drawback, it seems, would be the possible hit to the human workforce.
While some home builders may see this advancement as a threat to job security, others may see it as a welcome opportunity to embrace the age of technology. Developers and city planners are likely to back this development, as the CC robot works very efficiently, only needing a supply of power and semi-liquid concrete. The need for human assistance is minor, which allows the building process to be fairly self-sufficient.
For now, Khoshnevis is focusing on applying his technology to residential development, but the options for other applications is an exciting possibility. The CC robot has even drawn the attention of NASA, which may be looking into extraterrestrial habitats or lunar base construction in the future. Other possibilities include building post-disaster, military or infill housing.
To learn more, check out the University of Southern California Urban Initiative’s “Houses of the Future” report here: http://craft.usc.edu/CC/images/houses_future.pdf