Artificial intelligence helps design hanging gardens


Architecture and construction have always been at the forefront of technology and materials trends, as a result it is not surprising to find a project using artificial intelligence and robotics in a new approach to these arts, particularly at a renowned technical university such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The design and robotic construction they are experimenting with show how homes and offices could be built a decade from now, according to the Arab Gateway for Technical News report.

With the help of artificial intelligence and four collaborative robots, researchers at ETH Zurich are designing and manufacturing a 22.5-meter-high green architectural sculpture inspired by the mythical structures of the ancient city of Babylon.

Launched in 2019, the Semiramis project (named after the Queen of Babylon) is a collaboration between human designers and artificial intelligence designers.

The general idea came from architecture professors Fabio Gramazio and Mathias Koehler, but the design was achieved by establishing basic requirements, such as size, necessity of irrigation and building style, through a combination of computer models and machine learning algorithms.

During the design process, for example, the team might reposition one of the larger capsules that make up the structure, or change the layout of the panels that make up its surface.

The software they created adjusts the geometry of the overall chassis and other panels on the spot to accommodate these changes and ensure they remain safely bearing their weight, and so on.

There are many processes in architecture, but this project is pushing the boundaries to a new level in terms of control. The point is to make it a collaboration, not just the kind of architectural scrutiny that ensures the project doesn’t fall apart.

“The computer model allows us to reverse the traditional design process and explore the full design scope of the project,” Koehler said. “This leads to new, and often surprising, geometries.”

The project combines artificial intelligence and robotic assistance, and after the final design is reached, construction is accomplished by another team of four robotic arms, working with one mind to hold several heavy pieces in place. While the human element sets the resin used to hold them together.

The Semiramis project is being built in the workshop, then shipped piece by piece to its final location in the Tech Cluster Zug, and should be fully assembled and ready to accept soil and seed next spring.


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