My Ode to Building Gadetry

(Here is my quick and dirty profession of my fascination with what I will call “building gadgetry”)

Does this watching this make the wheels turn in your head (especially if you are an architect, or are involved in building design and construction)? Well… It should.

Imagine a job site where there are thousands of tiny mechanical masons the size of small cats buzzing around a job site carrying bricks and building walls with gps guided precision.  Expand the idea to flying cat-robots installing duct hangars with pop a pop-rivet gun, installing ceiling grids, and laying vct or carpet tiles and you may get an idea of how applicable the idea is given the standardization of so many building elements. I am not aware of the level of technological integration into typical building delivery in North America, but I think if you take technology like RFID tagging (think toll tags), GPS (which I know is already used for laying out a building on a site to locating duct hangars), QR barcodes (just plain pretty), NFC (an extension or subset of RFID technology that has a range of only about 4 inches), mobile phone manufacturers making hardware cheaper and faster by the month, etc. and pile all of this tech onto the already made (pardon my use of the “B” word) BIM models of a building … lots can happen.

Think this sounds like the kind of idea that would guide an hour and a half killing cinematic masterpiece available for $1.20 at your nearest RedBox? Well, it may indeed have the beginnings of a good low budget sequel to iRobot, but more than likely it will be a not so hidden part of how the buildings you live and work in are put together (if it isn’t already).

(for more from these guys check out


3 thoughts on “My Ode to Building Gadetry

  1. Jenga!!!
    This is certainly an impressive feat, even for such a controlled environment. These technologies have been around for over a decade, but we are still only scratching the surface on the extent of their capabilities. It’s great to see such unique ideas. I have never really considered the application of (seemingly) autonomous robots in building construction. As long as we don’t train the robots to build themselves…

  2. Wy hello Mr Asimov. The line between the analogue and digital is never as clean and defined as one would like. Construction is such a messy ordeal, but I think more and more that technology and, I guess you could call it humanism, are increasingly becoming overlapped and even blurred. Not in the borg sense, but in the sense that what was once experienced as so technologically advanced as to be on the edge of comprehension is becoming more human, instinctive, or even natural. Think of shopping for groceries on a touch screen at home, finding directions to a new restaurant in town after about 5 seconds of tapping on your smart phone map, or being able to call up and listen to any song ever written by anyone ever … via an object the size of a deck of cards … and this object being so ubiquitous that people give them away as party favors.

    Now think of these three things from the perspective of a person living in 1950.

    I guess anyone could point out new fancy technology and say “these times they are a changing”, but what is most interesting to me is the opportunities that lay ahead of us that today seem like techo-mysticism (and those that are so far removed from our basis and beginnings of imagining that we can’t even imagine what they may be or where they may begin).

It's more fun to talk with humans than machines. Comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s