Designing A Computer Controlled Machine

1695 Words Oct 15th, 2015 7 Pages
Robots, like any computer-controlled machine, can be programmed in their movements. But the production of control data in the form of coded machine instructions requires programming skills as well as an understanding of robotics concepts such as kinematics, which lie outside most architects’ domain of expertise. To address this problem, the custom robot programming library YOUR, which aims at making robot control intuitively accessible to students, has been implemented. Based on this, a toolkit of visual programming components for GrasshopperTM, allowing students to directly assemble graphical components for the control of their robotic fabrication sequences, was developed. The technologies for controlling robot arms are especially adaptable for a transition into architecture and design. Out of a collaboration between KUKA (a robot manufacturer), Rhinocerous (NURBS modeling program), and Grasshopper (Rhino Plugin), KUKA/prc allows designers to not only control robots with a program already widespread in the architectural profession, but to simulate the actual fabrication process digitally. Robot arms are currently the most prevalent form of robotics in architecture; architects and designers have begun to employ each other, and sometimes more radical, robotic strategies for design.

The resulting computational models do not only encapsulate the design logic, but also incorporate the procedure for their digital robotic fabrication. Thereby, the students are not only able to…
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