Robots enable Architects to realize their lively Ideas

Thomas Juul Andersen

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Robots enable Architects to realize their lively Ideas

Press release dated 28 June 2007 translated from Danish

At Danish Technological Institute in Taastrup, a new high-technology concrete workshop will promote the concrete industry as well as visionary architecture. Computers and robots make it possible to cast in concrete full automatic in almost every shape and on every surface.

The Danes can look forward to more fabulous buildings and lots of breathtaking architecture. On June 20, 2007 Danish Technological Institute inaugurated a new high-technology concrete workshop where computers and robots transform the visions of the architects to usable concrete constructions that will give buildings a completely new idiom.

The Robot at TI

”The possibility to construct buildings in visionary shapes has previously mostly been used in costly prestige buildings as it has required workmanship, which is expensive. It is the key stone of the concrete workshop to eliminate costly building projects. We are to develop a technology that makes unique concrete constructions competitive”, project manager Dorthe Mathiesen from Danish Technological Institute says.

In real life, it implies that the architect prepares digital 3D-drawings of the building. These drawings are traced to a robot that manufactures a form. The form is then automatically filled with concrete from a full automatic mixer plant.
”There is of course still a way to go before the technology can be used at the construction sites. However, we are leading in the area, nationally as well as internationally; aim at becoming the centre of nothing less than a revolution of the concrete construction that will bring new options to the concrete industry”, Dorthe Mathiesen says.

The high-technology concrete workshop is a central element of a triennial project.. The project brings together architecture, knowledge on robots and concrete technology and the total budget is 12.7 mill. DKK, of which 6.3 mill. DKK comes from Højteknologifonden.

The CEO of Højteknologifonden, Carsten Gaarn-Larsen, points out the interesting perspectives for the participants of the project, which will change the agenda for concrete constructions.

”The project is a good example of the fact that companies and researchers dare to cross traditional boundaries and professional skills.

The greatest potential resources are often found among the different approaches to an issue where the diversities of the partners impart the team with synergism”, he says.

The participants of the projects are: Danish Technological Institute (project manager), Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute at University of Southern Denmark, Aarhus School of Architecture, Spæncom A/S, Unicon A/S, MT Højgaard A/S, and robot manufacturer Giben Scandinavia A/S.