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Robotics Education

UCLA Architectural Program Teaches Design for Robot Homes 35

Lucas123 writes: "UCLA has created a graduate-level program that teaches architects how to design intelligent robotic buildings that are able to change their configuration to adapt to their owners' needs. The design are not limited to homes, of course, and could be used in office buildings or hotels. For example, a hotel could switch out a small bathroom in a guest room for a larger one that comes to the room along the outside façade of the building. Factories could also be transformed based on changing needs. Students in the program are working to come up with a more dynamic building, possibly one that has moving platforms or walls that could adapt the building for manufacturing different sized aircraft or products."
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UCLA Architectural Program Teaches Design for Robot Homes

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  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @11:46AM (#46128307) Homepage
    It seems like this is more in the gee-whiz category than anything practical and they seem to have the class more because it is cool than because they expect this to happen anytime soon. A few parts of the article stand out:

    "Think about how much space you need in a typical house today, and how much of it you use at a given time," Olds said. "If the house could dynamically reconfigure itself to match your daily routine, you could find yourself being much happier in less space and using less energy. For example, a room could be configured as an office during the day, with a media wall that is used as a business display. But at night, it could be a living room, and then it could transform into a bedroom."

    But much of the rest of the world outside the US has much smaller houses already. People here have massive houses not because they need to but because they apparently want to. This is especially true in the suburbs where the rooms are often much larger than they need to accomplish their goals. Large houses are status symbols and the size of American houses has little connection to what is practically necessary. Maybe this might work better in Europe or if it were restricted in the US to urban centers? The article also acknowledges problems with other ideas, such as how they discuss modular bathrooms but then acknowledge that getting all the pipes and the like to fit would be difficult. And nothing here even begins to touch on the many issues there would be with building codes.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson