hile robots have churned out identical
car parts since 1961, they haven’t yet
made their mark on timber construction—which often requires uniquely
shaped, project-specific components.
A prototype project—the Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany—aimed
to show not only that robots could make a lightweight
timber structure, but that they could create an innovative, resource-efficient building that man-made design
A smart robot builds an innovative structure—
with the help of the project team behind it.
alone cannot. The University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart,
Germany launched the research project with funding
from the European Union and the German state of
Baden-Württemberg, where the university is located.
“Machines are absolutely capable of doing this
BY MEREDITH LANDRY
type of work,” says Tobias Schwinn, an architect
and research associate at the University of Stutt-
gart’s Institute for Computational Design. “The
hard part is programming them to do so.”
A six-axis robot—modeled after a human arm—
Exhibition Hall in Schwäbisch