Distributed Robotics

Research Area

Distributed robotics is an emerging field of research interested in the assembly, disassembly, rearrangement and maintenance of architectural structures using teams of small, agile mobile robots. This represents a fundamentally different approach to current approaches to construction automation and has further implications on the entire lifecycle of a building. As such, the distributed robotics research is investigating the potentials of and fundamental methods for deploying inexpensive machines for the production of complex, functionally adapted structures in highly parallel processes.

Selected Publications

  1. 2023

    1. Leder, S., & Menges, A. (2023). Introducing Agent-Based Modeling Methods for Designing Architectural Structures with Multiple Mobile Robotic Systems. In C. Gengnagel, O. Baverel, G. Betti, M. Popescu, M. R. Thomsen, & J. Wurm (Eds.), Towards Radical Regeneration (pp. 71--83). Springer International Publishing.
    2. Leder, S., & Menges, A. (2023). Architectural design in collective robotic construction. Automation in Construction, 156, 105082. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2023.105082
  2. 2022

    1. Leder, S., Kim, H., Oguz, O. S., Kalousdian, N. K., Hartmann, V. N., Menges, A., Toussaint, M., & Sitti, M. (2022). Leveraging Building Material as Part of the In-Plane Robotic Kinematic System for Collective Construction. Advanced Science, 2201524. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202201524
    2. Tucker, C., Yang, X., Lehrecke, A., Maierhofer, M., Duque Estrada, R., & Menges, A. (2022). A Collaborative Multi-robot Platform for the Distributed Fabrication of Three-dimensional Fibrous Networks (Spatial Lacing). Proceedings of the 7th Annual ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1145/3559400.3561995
    3. Kubail Kalousdian, N., Lochnicki, G., Hartmann, V. N., Leder, S., Oguz, O. S., Menges, A., & Toussaint, M. (2022). Learning Robotic Manipulation of Natural Materials with Variable Properties for Construction Tasks. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 1–1. https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2022.3159288
  3. 2021

    1. Łochnicki, G., Kubail Kalousdian, N., Leder, S., Maierhofer, M., Wood, D., & Menges, A. (2021). Co-Designing Material-Robot Construction Behaviors: Teaching distributed robotic systems to leverage active bending for light-touch assembly of bamboo bundle structures. In B. Farahi, B. Bogosian, J. Scott, J. L. García del Castillo y López, K. Dörfler, J. A. Grant, S. Parascho, & V. A. A. Noel (Eds.), Realignments: Toward Critical Computation - ACADIA 2021.
  4. 2020

    1. Leder, S., Kim, H., Ozgur, O. S., Hartmann, V., Toussaint, M., Menges, A., & Sitti, M. (2020). Co-Design in Architecture: A Modular Material-Robot Kinematic Construction System. 2020 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Proceedings of Workshop on Construction and Architecture Robotics.
    2. Melenbrink, N., Werfel, J., & Menges, A. (2020). On-site autonomous construction robots: Towards unsupervised building. Automation in Construction, 119, 103312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2020.103312
  5. 2019

    1. Maierhofer, M., Soana, V., Yablonina, M., Suzuki, S., Koerner, A., Knippers, J., & Menges, A. (2019). Self-Choreographing Network: Towards cyber-physical design and operation processes of adaptive and interactive bending-active systems. In K. Bieg, D. Briscoe, & C. Odom (Eds.), ACADIA – Ubiquity and Autonomy - Proceedings of the 39th ACADIA Conference 2019 (pp. 654--663). https://doi.org/10.52842/conf.acadia.2019.654
    2. Leder, S., Weber, R., Wood, D., Bucklin, O., & Menges, A. (2019). Distributed Robotic Timber Construction: Designing of in-situ timber construction system with robot-material collaboration. In K. Bieg, D. Briscoe, & C. Odom (Eds.), ACADIA – Ubiquity and Autonomy - Proceedings of the 39th ACADIA Conference 2019.
    3. Yablonina, M., & Menges, A. (2019). Multi-species Robotic Fabrication for Filament Structures: Towards a Robotic Ecosystem, 2015. In G. Retsin, M. Jimenez Garcia, M. Claypool, & V. Soler (Eds.), Robotic Building: Architecture in the Age of Automation (pp. 86--87). DETAIL. https://doi.org/10.11129/9783955534257
    4. Yablonina, M., & Menges, A. (2019). Distributed Fabrication: Cooperative Making with Larger Groups of Smaller Machines. Architectural Design, 89(2), Article 2. https://doi.org/10.1002/ad.2413
  6. 2018

    1. Wood, D., Yablonina, M., Aflalo, M., Chen, J., Tahanzadeh, B., & Menges, A. (2018). Cyber Physical Macro Material as a UAV reConfigurable Architectural System. 320--335. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92294-2_25
  7. 2017

    1. Melenbrink, N., Kassabian, P., Menges, A., & Werfel, J. (2017). Towards Force-aware Robot Collectives for On-site Construction. Disciplines & Disruption - Proceedings of the ACADIA Conference 2017, 382--391.

Contact Information

This image shows Samuel Leder

Samuel Leder


Research Associate

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