Technology

"Fiberbot" Construction Workers Spin Fiberglass Like a Spider

Are these robot builders the future of construction?

By Lacy SchleyDec 18, 2018 12:00 PM
(Credit: The Mediated Matter Group)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Researchers at MIT have developed fiberglass-spinning robots that could be construction workers of the future, building on sites where access is limited or dangerous. At first glance, these Fiberbots resemble a camping lantern. Affixed to the top is a rotating arm that spins out a fiberglass strand around the rest of the robot, akin to a silkworm cocooning itself by spinning a silk thread. An ultraviolet light hardens the fiberglass “cocoon” into a hollow tube. Then, the bot inches up to the top of the stabilized tube section. It repeats the process, eventually building a customizable pipelike structure. The hope is that the Fiberbots can someday build remotely in hard-to-reach places on Earth and beyond.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.