Monday, January 29, 2007

Robot housebuilders threaten bricklaying profession:
By building almost an entire house from just two materials -- concrete and gypsum -- the robots will eliminate the need for dozens of traditional components, including floorboards, wooden window frames and possibly even wallpaper. It may eventually be possible to use specially treated gypsum instead of glass window panes.

Engineers on both projects say the robots will not only cut costs and avoid human delays but liberate the normal family homes from the conventional designs of pitched roofs, right-angled walls and rectangular windows.

"The architectural options will explode," predicted Dr Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who will soon unleash his $1.5m robot. "We will be able to build curves and domes as easily as straight walls."
(Via Michael Williams.)