Robotic Kinematic System for Parallel Construction

Research Project 19-1 (RP 19-1)


Contemporary applications of robotics in the construction industry are primarily focusing on automation of conventional and at best slightly altered construction processes. Contrary to this automation approach, this project explores methods for co-design and development of a complimentary robotic and architectural systems, where the manipulator and the building material are co-designed. A system that combines actuator hardware and building material into a modular robot-material kinematic chain is developed, which  can reconfigure throughout the construction process. Deploying a fleet of such modules has the capacity to not only expand the existing automation in construction practices but also further increase the flexibility of on-site construction robots. In order to achieve this vision, the research will address various related challenges that arise from this novel approach, which intrinsically requires co-design strategies for robot hardware design, building system design, robot control system design, and the computational design software tool.



Prof. Dr. Metin Sitti
Physical Intelligence Department (MPI PI), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart
Prof. Achim Menges
Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), University of Stuttgart
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Marc Toussaint
Machine Learning and Robotics Lab (IPVS-MLR), University of Stuttgart


Dr.-Ing. Salih Özgür Ögüz (IPVS-MLR)
Dr.-Ing. Tobias Schwinn (ICD)
Hyun Gyu Kim (MPI)
Samuel Leder (ICD)
Patricia Martinez (MPI)


  1. 2023

    1. Leder, S., & Menges, A. (2023). Architectural design in collective robotic construction. Automation in Construction, 156, 105082.
    2. Leder, S., & Menges, A. (2023). Introducing Agent-Based Modeling Methods for Designing Architectural Structures with Multiple Mobile Robotic Systems. In C. Gengnagel, O. Baverel, G. Betti, M. Popescu, M. R. Thomsen, & J. Wurm (Eds.), Towards Radical Regeneration (pp. 71--83). Springer International Publishing.
  2. 2022

    1. Leder, S., Kim, H., Oguz, O. S., Kalousdian, N. K., Hartmann, V. N., Menges, A., Toussaint, M., & Sitti, M. (2022). Leveraging Building Material as Part of the In-Plane Robotic Kinematic System for Collective Construction. Advanced Science, 2201524.
    2. Menges, A., & Wortmann, T. (2022). Synthesising Artificial Intelligence and Physical Performance. Architectural Design, 92(3), Article 3.
  3. 2021

    1. Schubert, I., Driess, D., Oguz, O. S., & Toussaint, M. (2021). Learning to Execute: Efficient Learning of Universal Plan-Conditioned Policies in Robotics. NeurIPS 2021 - Neural Information Processing Systems 34.
    2. Toussaint, M., Ha, J.-S., & Oguz, O. S. (2021). Co-Optimizing Robot, Environment, and Tool Design via Joint Manipulation Planning. 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 6600–6606.
    3. Łochnicki, G., Kubail Kalousdian, N., Leder, S., Maierhofer, M., Wood, D., & Menges, A. (2021). Co-Designing Material-Robot Construction Behaviors: Teaching distributed robotic systems to leverage active bending for light-touch assembly of bamboo bundle structures. In B. Farahi, B. Bogosian, J. Scott, J. L. García del Castillo y López, K. Dörfler, J. A. Grant, S. Parascho, & V. A. A. Noel (Eds.), Realignments: Toward Critical Computation - ACADIA 2021.
  4. 2020

    1. Hartmann, V. N., Oguz, O. S., Driess, D., Toussaint, M., & Menges, A. (2020). Robust Task and Motion Planning for Long-Horizon Architectural Construction Planning. Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
    2. Leder, S., Kim, H., Oguz, O. S., Hartmann, V., Toussaint, M., Menges, A., & Sitti, M. (2020). Co-Design in Architecture: A Modular Material-Robot Kinematic Construction System. 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Proceedings of Workshop on Construction and Architecture Robotics.
    3. Melenbrink, N., Werfel, J., & Menges, A. (2020). On-site autonomous construction robots: Towards unsupervised building. Automation in Construction, 119, 103312.
    4. Nguyen, S. T., Oguz, O. S., Hartmann, V. N., & Toussaint, M. (2020). Self-Supervised Learning of Scene-Graph Representations for Robotic Sequential Manipulation Planning. Proc. of the Annual Conf. on Robot Learning (CORL).
  5. 2019

    1. Leder, S., Weber, R., Bucklin, O., Wood, D., & Menges, A. (2019). Design and prototyping of a single axis, building material integrated, distributed robotic assembly system. 2019 IEEE: 4th International Workshops on Foundations and Applications of Self* Systems (FAS*), 3rd International Workshop on Self-Organised Construction (SOCO).
    2. Leder, S., Weber, R., Wood, D., Bucklin, O., & Menges, A. (2019). Distributed Robotic Timber Construction: Designing of in-situ timber construction system with robot-material collaboration. ACADIA – Ubiquity and Autonomy Proceedings of the ACADIA Conference 2019.
    3. Yablonina, M., & Menges, A. (2019). Distributed Fabrication: Cooperative Making with Larger Groups of Smaller Machines. Architectural Design, 89(2), Article 2.


  1. 2022

    1. Nguyen, L., Schwinn, T., Groenewolt, A., Maierhofer, M., Zorn, M. B., Stieler, D., Siriwardena, L., Kannenberg, F., & Menges, A. (2022). ABxM.Core: The Core Libraries of the ABxM Framework.


  1. 2022

    1. Nguyen, L., Schwinn, T., Groenewolt, A., Maierhofer, M., Zorn, M. B., Stieler, D., Siriwardena, L., Kannenberg, F., & Menges, A. (2022). ABxM.Core: The Core Libraries of the ABxM Framework.


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