Construction Automation

Reinforced concrete shells are no longer fashionable. Space structures have taken their place "under the spotlight" due to their multiple terrestrial applications and potential extra-terrestrial uses. Yet, with the advent of construction automation, both these forms of structures will become increasingly popular. This is due to their economy, simplicity, minimal use of material, and for their proven and lasting structural performance.

The author has dedicated his professional life to the development of original automated construction technologies to render the construction of special structural forms such as concrete shells (refs 1 & 3) and space structures
(refs. 4 & 5)
as efficient and economical as possible.

This paper presents the technologies that have been the fruit of twenty-five years of personal research in construction automation. It is divided in two sections.

The first part describes and critiques the author's development and utilization of "automated construction processes" applicable to reinforced concrete shells and space structures of different dimensions and shapes. The second part of the paper presents various joint research efforts that are now in their initial developing stages. Most of said research efforts are being closely developed together with Shimizu Corporation of Tokyo (Japan). They are applicable to a wide variety of "automated structures," from "semi-traditional" multistory buildings, to city infrastructures and from extra-terrestrial space structures to self-shaping and self-sinking Shelters and Habitats for Lunar Outposts.