Construction Automation

Fig.7
(Fig. 7): Pak-Home model presented in Moscow (1986)

In the same period the author developed two other conceptual systems, the "Fold-A-Struct" and the "Autotent" (ref.6) These systems respectively produce:

A) An instant, demountable, square-based, class-room unit, made up of four identical, mass produced components provided with "inner stored energy'' which contribute to the self-assembly process;

B) A folded space frame which may be utilized as a mini-shelter. This shelter is designed as a civilian or military tent which is dropped by low-flying aircraft in case of emergencies. The autotent self-shapes during its fall and is provided with an identification light and with a survival kit.


(Fig. 8): Fold A Struct. self-assembling model (1987)

The author also collaborated with his son Nicolò to design the "Nico-Space" (developed in the U.S.A. only as a working model) This object is a self-shaping, carbon-fiber and kapton-polvcarbonate-graphite-composite-larninate icosahedron, developed for mini space-shelter or mini space- warehouse to store space debris.


(Fig.9): Nico-Space self-shaping model (1988)

The above mentioned, unique construction technologies, have relied on air pressure alone to shape, assemble, or lift building's structures. The second part of this paper describes construction systems in which construction automation is complemented with the aid of robotics.

In 1991, the "Lunit" (a self-shaping and self sinking, pressurized, mobile unit for a life-supporting Lunar Outpost) and the "Lunhab" ( a self-shaping and self-sinking pressurized Lunar structure designed as a life-supporting habitat) were Jointly developed together with Dr. Shinji Matsumoto, General Manager of the Institute of Technology and Deputy General Manager of The Space Project Office and other experts of Shimizu Corporation. Both of these developments have been presented by Mr. H. Nakazawa in Washington DC at the 43rd Congress of the International Astronautical Federation ( ref. 8)

The author, together with other experts of the Space Project Office of Shimizu Corporation, is presently working on the joint development of a conceptual interior design for the "Lunit" system. A proposal has been put forth for the construction in 1993-94 of a working scale model of the "Lunhab" at the University of Florence (Italy), affiliated Campus of the International Space University.


(Fig 11) Lunit & Lunhab Concepts (l991-1992)

The author was also involved in a joint effort to develop a patented automated method of construction, owned by the Institute of Technology of Shimizu Corporation, called "Air-Lift-Up" system. This system will combine an advanced pneumatic construction process and robotics to construct semi-traditional multistory buildings. This system was presented in 1992 by Dr. Haruo Nakazawa, at the First International Symposium of CIB Working Commission W 82. (Ref. 9)


(Fig. 12) The "Air-Lift-Up" System. (1991-l992)