Rival robots prepping to automate home building

"Your shoes, clothes and car are already made automatically, but your house is built by hand and it doesn't make sense." That's word from Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, whose team at USC is getting ready to debut a $1.5 million robot designed to build homes with zero help from puny humans. The bot should have its first test run in California this April, where it will build the shell of a two-story house in 24 hours. The operation is akin to a 3D inkjet printer, with the robot moving about in three dimensional space, spraying out the home layer by layer. Part of the simplicity of the process comes from the simplicity of the materials: nearly the whole house is built with concrete and gypsum, obviously leaving a bit of work for the decorators, but allowing for complicated shapes and cheap construction -- about a fifth of current costs. A rival robotic house building being developed at Loughborough University takes a week to build a home, but will include fancier designs, including ducts for water, electrical and ventilation. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait around 5 years for that model to hit the market, and by then we'll all be having so much fun driving around in our flying cars we won't even have time to bother with these "home" things.

[Via Slashdot]