A robot that can see and sense its environment and make basic decisions based on that and other inputs could soon be a reality at Queensland’s Bond University when its internationally acclaimed Abedian School of Architecture (ASA) is officially opened today.
ASA is one of only three architectural schools in Australia to have the cutting-edge mechanical robot and according to Bond academics, the sky really is the limit in terms of its capability.
Architecture Faculty Assistant Professor (computational design), Jonathan Nelson, said Bond’s plan was to incorporate the robot as a fabrication and assembly tool – capable of far more complex manoeuvers than current equipment – but also as a learning tool.
Assistant Professor Nelson said he was excited about the potential for Bond architecture students with the robot and its uses in the ASA building. He said there are only 30 being used in architectural education worldwide.
“Most tools have one specific function, a drill or a sander or radial arm saw which, while convenient, are useless without an operator,” he said.
“The robot is more like the user of the tool, the hand that operates the drill or saw. “It is basically a fully articulated arm that can move freely through space at almost any angle. “Unlike other machinery, it can actually have pretty much any tool attached to it which it can then use more or less like an extremely precise person who never gets tired, or makes mistakes or complains.
“We can attach a milling spindle so it can be a sculptor, a welding gun so it can weld, a hand so it can grab and assemble things, an extruder so it can be a 3D printer and a scanner so it can record objects.”
He said architecture developed tools have begun making their way into manufacturing because it is so easy to teach robots to do complex things.”
Bond University’s ASA was designed by the internationally renowned CRAB Studios in London after a worldwide competition.
Dean of Bond’s Faculty of Society and Design, Professor Raoul Mortley, said the facility and equipment such as the robot put Bond at the forefront of architectural studies nationally. He said the purchase of the robot was made possible through the generous support of ASA benefactor, the founder of Sunland Group, Dr Soheil Abedian.
“Soheil Abedian has been a long time supporter of Bond University and the installation of the robot is a direct result of his ongoing generosity and vision,” he said.
“The facility will stimulate and encourage the next generation of world leading architects and the work they will produce will be cutting edge, exciting and at the forefront of the profession.”