Robotic Architectural & Structural Design


The built environment industry needs to change. Where most industries are in Industry 4.0, the construction industry still remains in Industry 1.0/2.0. Robotics will play an important role solving challenges like the shortage in houses and raw materials, too much Nitrogen and CO2 emissions, and the construction workers' health situations and safety. How exactly this is going to be realized is still the big question and brings many challenges and opportunities. Research is needed!

ROASD was created in the Department of the Built Environment of the TU/e, which stands for Robotic Architectural Structural Design. This platform links all students and researchers working with robots. It supports in programming and using the robots, collects knowledge on digital manufacturing and manages the robotic lab.


ROASD focuses on exploring the potential of Industry 4.0 in the built environment. As the construction
industry undergoes a digital transformation, we are dedicated to investigating the ways in which advanced
technologies such as robotics and digital manufacturing can be effectively implemented to address various
challenges faced by the industry. Through our research, we aim to provide valuable insights and
recommendations for the successful integration of Industry 4.0 in the built environment, ultimately paving
the way for a smarter, safer, and more sustainable future.

To achieve this goal, our research group brings together experts from various disciplines, including
engineering, architecture, and computer science. We utilize a variety of research methods, including
literature reviews, case studies, simulations, and practical experiments, to thoroughly examine the potential
impacts and implications of implementing robotics in the built environment industry. By combining
interdisciplinary expertise and diverse research approaches, including hands-on experimentation, we aim to
provide a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the opportunities and challenges posed by robotic
implementation in the built environment.

3D printed concrete columns

Assistant Professor Cristina Nan has teamed up with Vertico to teach the seminar Concrete Futures, at the department of Architectural Design and Engineering of the University of Technology Eindhoven. Students were invited to explore algorithm-aided design and to develop parametric columns for 3D concrete printing. The designs showcase experimentation with new material expressions for concrete, slicing techniques, and algorithmic patterning strategies. The seminar merges computational design, digital fabrication, and an understanding of concrete’s material behavior. Unlike polymer printing, 3D concrete printing does not allow for significant overhang. However, Vertico’s proprietary technology of Accelerated Concrete Printing aims to change this. Their printhead can produce angles of up to 60 degrees overhang; bringing the sought-after design freedom of polymer printing to concrete.

The columns were printed without formwork, at a height of 2.2m. The 3D-printed columns are hollow, thus reducing weight and material use. Employing this type of material deposition strategy allows for a more sustainable fabrication approach than traditional concrete casting.

Our Themes


Tom Godthelp

Timber reciprocal frame structures (RFs) express pure structural design in a beautiful way. Their structural principle relies on the interaction between the compression and tension of neighboring members, creating a self-supporting structure that ideally does not require intricate connections. Until now, a combination of RF form finding that considers both geometrical and structural design (including connections) has not been developed. While researchers have developed computational form finding methods to create geometrical solutions and have described global structural design, computational complexity may have prevented the direct inclusion of detailing in the overall design. This research introduces a complete design-to-production procedure for timber RFs.

With the advent of climate change, the increase in material costs, and the scarcity of materials, timber RFs may again prove to be a promising building solution in structural design.

Relevant Courses


Digital Design & Manufacturing

This course takes the challenges in the built environment as a starting point and introduces digital design and manufacturing tools to address them. Students develop a parametric digital design that will be built with the robots in the structural design lab.


Parametric Design

Any robotics implementation requires a digital model. These models are often created as parametric models because they allow for great design freedom and variant analyses and optimization. This course introduces students to parametric design, including hands-on design of models themselves.


Expositions and Appearances

ROASD participates in expositions that showcase the latest advancements in robotics for the built environment. Our team of researchers actively contributes to these events by presenting their work and innovative solutions. These conferences and exhibitions provide a platform for us to share our knowledge, and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. At ROASD, we are committed to staying at the forefront of robotics research and development in the AEC industry, and these events play a vital role in achieving our goals.

Click the button below to read more about the expositions and appearances where members of ROASD presented their work!