This Company Is Using Robots To 3D Print Houses In Hours

It's pretty well known that the robots are taking over.

With the good folk at places like Boston Dynamics teaching them not only to do things for themselves, but to disobey humans, it can surely only be a matter of time before our robotic creations rise up and throw of the shackles of human oppression.

Or is it? Perhaps there is still an opportunity for us to live together after all - as seen in the collaboration between housing company ICON and their robot friends.

They've come up with a great way to build houses really quickly and relatively cheaply together.

Between a 3D printing robot and a selection of workmen, affordable housing can be built in a matter of hours.

The one storey houses are pretty small, but they look quite nice. The robot - which is called a Vulcan - prints the walls, roof, and floors, and then a human has to come in to do some of the more skilled stuff like plumbing, electricity, and heating.

With the 3D printing portion of it consisting of laying down perfect rows of concrete, and taking about 12 hours, that means a whole house might take about a day in total to build.

Credit: New Story/ICON/YouTube
Credit: New Story/ICON/YouTube

ICON brought this show on the road to SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas this week and in partnership with the international non-profit group New Story they plan to build loads of these sorts of houses - 100 to be precise - in El Salvador for low-income communities by the end of 2019.

The houses are about 650 square feet and have a wrap-around patio, one bedroom, a small office space, and a living room. As mentioned previously, they're small, but pleasant.

Credit: New Story/ICON/YouTube
Credit: New Story/ICON/YouTube

Then there's the cost. They currently come in at about $10,000 each, but they reckon they can get that down to just $4,000 - which is pretty damn affordable as housing goes.

Before they start building them for people in Central America Jason Ballard, one of ICON's founders, says he will start using one as an office to test the design out.

He told The Verge: "We are going to install air quality monitors. How does it look, and how does it smell?"

The machine that is used is capable of creating houses up to 800 square feet, Given that the average size of a New York apartment is 866 square feet that's not too bad.

Ballard thinks that his small, affordable houses will be set apart by the fact that they are the best. He said: "There are a few other companies that have printed homes and structures,

"But they are printed in a warehouse, or they look like Yoda huts. For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses."

Whatever, let's just keep the robots onside. Not like those fools at Boston Dynamics.

Featured Image Credit: New Story/ICON/YouTube

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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