Project at the victoria and albert museum in London
A KUKA robot demonstrates the automated production of fiber composite elements
22 June 2016
Innovative robot-based applications in architecture using carbon and glass fibersVisitors to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London can currently view an unexpected exhibit at the world’s largest art museum: a KR 120 R2500. robot. The robot from the KR QUANTEC series is already in itself an engineering work of art. As part of the “Engineering Season” exhibition organized by the museum, classical art is now merged with engineering art. The objective is to illustrate the interaction between design, architecture and engineering. The robot demonstrates how innovative carbon and glass fibers can be employed in architecture in the future. In addition, the robot for high payloads demonstrates the completely automated production of fiber composite elements in the museum’s famous John Madejski Garden before the eyes of the visiting public.
VIPs at the presentation of the KUKA robot“Engineering Season” runs from 18 May to 6 November 2016, during which time around two million visitors are expected to view the exhibition. Many prominent guests – including Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen – were on hand to witness the KR 120 R2500 live at work on 17 and 18 June 2016. Mr. Müller’s company is the sponsor of “Engineering Season”.
Experience the latest robot-based technology at the “engineering season” exhibition
During the “Engineering Season” exhibition, visitors can marvel at the Elytra Filament Pavilion in the John Madejski Garden. Spanning close to 200 m2, the large roof as well as the supports of the pavilion are made of fiber composite elements. Months before the start of “Engineering Season”, the University of Stuttgart, which developed the material, and KUKA were already preparing.
The project demonstrates how the principles from biological filament structures can be transferred into architecture using a computer-based design and manufacturing process. To make the material, the robot weaves a hexagonal frame using carbon and glass fibers that are still malleable. Once the material has dried, it weighs only nine kilograms per square meter. The newly produced roof components are used to expand the pavilion. The result for this visitor is a unique and changing spatial experience in the museum garden.