Visionaries Look at the Future of Construction

Robotic termites are making news. The phrase may not be familiar to many, but Harvard researchers and others entrenched in the future of building and urban landscapes are turning to a practice dubbed “swarm construction systems.” It’s an exercise that has robots working together to build structures. The practice was highlighted on a CNBC special, Industrial Revolutions. “We’ve created a system where you can ask a group of robots to build some particular structure you want, and they will automatically go and build that for you,” said Justin Werfel, a research scientist at Harvard. “Rather than everything being carefully pre-planned in advance, you’ve got something more like an ant colony, where you’ve got a lot of agents going around, each doing their own thing. Together, they produce the useful result you’ve asked them for.” How will moving away from traditional development impact the industry and workforce?

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