Space Coast Habitat for Humanity is using three robots to build 3-D printed homes for families in Melbourne, Florida. Similar to human carpenters and construction workers, the three robots have roles of their own.
Mary is the robot bulk truck assigned to deliver dry materials that will be used to create the homes. Said materials will be transferred to Gary, the robot mixing machine. Once Gary receives the materials, it will be mixing them with water inside its machine. After these two steps comes Frank, the fourth-generation construction 3D printer robot.
The bulk of the work is assigned to Frank as this robot will be printing out the final material. While the material may have a rather flat texture compared to the standard build, Frank does a pretty amazing job in creating stuccos from smooth, rough, and mixed veneers. Such performance can be expected from Frank the 3D printer robot as it was able to set a Guinness World Record for the largest 3D printed building on Earth and is responsible for creating the first commercially permitted 3D printed building in America.
Given that 3-D printing has always had a reputation for slow results, one might think that the construction process of these 3-D homes would be the same. However, that is not the case as Frank, Gary, and Mary are said to be able to build a home for as fast as 50 hours or three times faster than the traditional construction process.
In the question of safety, a soon-to-be homeowner debunks concerns and doubts. “Blessed, I feel really, really blessed. I’ve worked really hard and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to. I didn’t know I was going to get a house, but I feel like I’m going to be in a safe place, so I’m excited about that. Some place for my family to grow up,”, says Mariah who will soon be moving in with her two kids.
With the development of Mary, Gary, and Frank, we can now add building homes to the list of tasks that robots can help humans with. It makes us excited and curious about what else can robots help us in the future and how it will affect employment opportunities.