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
Robo Builders - The Mediated Matter Group
(Credit: The Mediated Matter Group)

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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.

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