Spiderbots weaving carbon fiber webs

Developers at the University of Stuttgart’s Institution for Computational Design have worked hard to make their concept of “swarm construction” a reality. Swarm construction refers to the process of small, wall-scaling robots coming together to weave carbon fiber webs on the walls.

The foundation of the concept is credited to Maria Yablonina, a graduate student from ICD. ICD director Achim Menges has claimed that the Institute’s progress on the robots is still mainly in the blueprint phase, but what’s been observed so far has been impressive.

In the trial runs that the Institute has conducted so far, these wall-scaling robots have been able to weave complex nooks made entire of carbon fiber. Researchers have been pleased to find that the carbon nets created by these wall-spiders are intricate enough to give the impression of having been completed by a Spinograph.

Menges has stated he draws the majority of his inspiration from observing various things formed in nature. With buildings that have been modeled after insect and crustacean exoskeletons, the spider-based robots are not a very far departure from the ICD’s track record of creature-modeled creations.

In the future, ICD hopes to manufacture more robots in order to test out even more powerful surface adhesion ability. If the future spider robots can adhere to even curved surfaces and ceilings, then the potential carbon fiber constructions could be even more impressive than what’s already been seen.