Led by Assistant Professor Robert Stuart-Smith, the Autonomous Manufacturing Lab (AML-Penn) explores the integration of design and production within robotic processes of building manufacturing. The economic and environmental cost of building is able to be reduced through increases in the intricacy and complexity of design and engineering solutions. This however, is dependent on the design possibilities and production efficiencies of building manufacturing processes. Beyond industrial automation, autonomous and semi-autonomous manufacturing are able to provide embodied forms of decision making, providing new opportunities for bespoke fabrication where adaptive processes can actively engage with the formation and physical manipulation of materials in novel ways. The interdisciplinary AML lab aims to develop innovative methods of manufacturing that leverage real-time robotics, computation, sensor and computer vision technologies within generative design processes, in order to expand the creative and practical possibilities of design through a direct engagement with the physical world of manufacturing.
AML-Penn is part of the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design's Advanced Research & Innovation Lab (ARI). As part of a multi-year plan to provide additional tools and facilities to support the scholarship of Weitzman faculty and students, ARI opens up vast new territories for innovation and places the School at the forefront of applied and speculative research in several domains.