By Glenn McDonald, Seeker.com, April 28, 2017
MIT engineers have developed an autonomous system for assembling structures in disaster areas, remote environments, and maybe even other planets.
An engineering team at MIT may have just brought us one step closer to this science-fiction future with a robotic system that can assemble an entire building by itself. Dubbed the Digital Construction Platform (DCP), the robot is essentially a mobile 3D printer that can roll into any environment and start building structures — no humans necessary. According to the design team, the mobile robotic construction platform could eventually be deployed in disaster areas, extreme climates and even, yes, other planets.
Engineers from MIT’s Mediated Matter lab provide details on the DCP system in this week’s issue of the journal Science Robotics. It’s not just a conceptual project, either. The MIT team has already built a working prototype that can assemble a 50-foot-wide, 12-foot-high structure in less than 14 hours.