Robotic Fabrication

ITECH Seminar | 6 ECTS | Summer Semester 2022

T. Schwinn, O. Bucklin, R. Duque Estrada, F. Kannenberg, Y. Tahouni, Prof. A. Menges (ICD)

The integration of computational design and digital fabrication, including robotics, opens up new possibilities for materialization in architecture. Beyond the automation of traditional fabrication techniques, robotics affords the opportunity to explore interactive and adaptive fabrication processes.

The aim of the course is to develop skills and understanding for relevant techniques: robotic programming interfaces, development and prototyping of custom hardware, and fabrication feedback. Throughout the course, students will receive instruction about these topics and will be requested to engage practically with the given curriculum through accomplishing short-term assignments in small groups. This will enable students to investigate fabrication techniques in interdisciplinary teams as well as to develop suitable computational design tools. Where possible, synergies with the ITECH Research Pavilion are encouraged.

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the potential of robotic fabrication within the context of architecture and proficiency in technologies for advanced fabrication of architectural systems, the development of computational tools, and experimental fabrication techniques. This way, the course lays the foundations for behavioral robot control, which will be explored in the following semester as part of the Behavioral Fabrication seminar. By the end of the course, participants will be able to develop a final seminar project as a team combining the skills they have learned during the course. The seminar will conclude with final presentations and submissions of deliverables on ILIAS at the end of the semester.

The course will be conducted in hybrid teaching format. We will provide lecture content through ILIAS in the days prior to the date of the topic in the schedule. Weekly live sessions will take place during regular course hours, if possible in person with a Webex meeting running in parallel. The live sessions are intended to complement the pre-recorded lectures where you can give feedback, we will discuss the lecture contents, and answer related questions. The remaining time of the live sessions will be dedicated to desk crits regarding assignment progress.

Assignments will also be distributed and submitted through ILIAS. Students will be asked to complete three assignments, two of which are hardware assignments, where access to some basic tools will be required. Depending on the pandemic situation, we will be able to permit individual groups into the Robolab to work on their projects.

Final presentations: 19.7.2022
Documentation hand-in: 26.7.2022

First Meeting: 12.04.2022

Module Name: 49780 Computational Design and Digital Fabrication
Examination Number: 49781

[Photo: E. Sahin, L. Skoury, S. Treml, ITECH University of Stuttgart, 2020]



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