Combining industrial robotics with autonomous flying vehicles

2015 - 2016 | Research Projects
VW Foundation, Experiment Funding Programme

Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Prof. A. Menges)

Combination of local robotic precision and autonomous flying drones for resource efficient production of continuous architectural scale fiber composite structures

Building construction accounts for a large part of mankind’s total resource consumption, while natural structures achieve a higher level of material and energy efficiency based on entirely different processes of materialization than those currently used in architectural construction. The proposed experiment aims at a radical shift in the way buildings are constructed and planned by combining the precision inherent in industrial robots with the untethered freedom of autonomous flying drones for large scale yet very precise on-site fabrication method for architectural fiber composite structures. This could create highly differentiated anisotropic composite material arrangements and complex structural morphologies as they can be found in nature that ultimately unfurl the potential for, until now, an unreached level of resource efficiency in building construction.



ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction
Prof. A. Menges (PI), Marshall Prado, Moritz Dörstelmann

Research Assistants

Artyom Maxim, Zaid Tasneem

Institute of Engineering Geodesy
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Volker Schwieger, Otto Lerke



Volkswagen Stiftung



Kuka Roboter GmbH + Kuka Robotics UK Ltd

Leica Geosystems



Maxim, A., Lerke, O., Prado, M., Dörstelmann, M., Menges, A., Schwieger, V., UAV Guidance with Robotic Total Station for Architectural Fabrication Processes, in Proceedings of DVW - UAV 2017. Pending Publication



Marshall Prado, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Computational Design

Contact information


Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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