The Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction (MRAC) seeks to train a new generation of interdisciplinary professionals who are capable of facing our growing need for a more sustainable and optimized construction eco-system. The Master is focused on the emerging design and market opportunities arising from novel robotic and advanced manufacturing systems.
Through a mixture of seminars, workshops and studio projects, the master program challenges the traditional processes in the Construction Sector. It investigates how advances in robotics and digital fabrication tools change the way we build and develop processes and design tools for such new production methods.
The MRAC offers an international and multidisciplinary environment where engineers, designers, architects, craftsmen, academics and industry partners have the opportunity to rethink the construction industry. The master will take place in the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, a creative space fully equipped with the most recent manufacturing technologies, in Barcelona, an international hub for innovation in a traditionally rich industrial region.
||MRAC01 + OTF
||Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction accredited by School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)
||Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction + Postgraduate Diploma in Open Thesis Fabrication. Both accredited by School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)
9 Months – From October 2019 to June 2020 // Full Time
9 + 9 months – From October 2019 to June 2021 // Part Time
|15 Months – From October 2019 to February 2021 // Full Time
||Engineering, Design or Architecture degree, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions.
||Engineering, Design or Architecture degree, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions.
Context and agenda
The construction sector is currently faced with a need for change. A new approach towards how our environment is built must be taken. Growing cities are challenging the sector to find better ways to build more and at a lower cost. Furthermore, the limited resources that we have on this planet push us towards a more sustainable way of building, inhabiting, and reusing our constructions. On top of this, an aberration from mass-produced cities indicates a need for a more holistic design, integrating the various needs and desires of the inhabitants.
In addition to this, the construction sector has not yet taken advantage of the digital revolution that is happening in other manufacturing sectors, such as in the automobile and aerospatial engineering industries. While studies predict that Automation, Robotics, and AI will possibly increase productivity by 60% in the construction sector, they also open new opportunities for design and for increased building performance.
In this context, IAAC proposes a new interdisciplinary program where prospective students can expect to learn about the start of the art in Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing technologies, as well as theory and practical tools of computational design and artificial intelligence. Master candidates will become fluent in the use of these technologies through continuous hands-on experiments, methodology, and a series of workshops and pilot projects with research and industry partners.
What you will learn
Students will learn to manipulate and integrate robotics and advanced manufacturing process; create and generate a parametric design for mass customisation in the connected industry 4.0; integrate computer vision and sensor feedback for complex material systems and fabrication processes; explore the potential of computational optimisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, understand and integrated the potential of autonomous robot systems, develop new applications of augmented reality and connected mobile devices and propose new digital design and building technologies for both prefabrication and on-site construction.
By bringing together international researchers and industry partners from a wide variety of fields and cultures, IAAC seeks to create a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment, a place to rethink the construction sector and train the new generation of professionals capable of having a positive impact on our future built environment and economy.
IAAC’s Master in Robotics and Advanced Constructions (MRAC) mission is to train a new generation of professionals capable of answering the challenges of a more sustainable and customised construction ecosystem.
In order to do so, this new program relies on a Scientific Committee made up by six members, coming both from the professional and the academic word, who are chosen from among the top international experts of the field.
- Sigrid Brell-Cokcan (Robots in Architecture; RWTH Aachen)
- Kasper Stoy (ITU Robotics, Evolution and Art Laboratory)
- Roland Snooks (Kokkugia; RMIT)
- Fabian Scheurer (Design to Production)
- Jose Daniel Garcia Espinel (Acciona Innovation)
- Fabio Gramazio (ETH Zurich, DFab, Gramazio & Kohler Architect)
- Areti Markopoulou (IAAC’s Academic Director)
The Master Program in Robotics and Advanced Construction is an innovative educational format that offers interdisciplinary skills and understanding through a series of class seminars that are put into practice through hands-on workshops. IAAC gives students the opportunity to create individual studio agendas and develop Pilot Thesis Projects based on the knowledge acquired during the seminars and workshops split into 3 Modules. In this way, IAAC puts together an experimental learning environment for the training of professionals with both theoretical and practical responses to the increasing complexity of the construction sector.
The master offers a flexible structure to allow both full time or part-time dedication to the master. Full-time students can complete the program in 1 academic year (October to July) while part-time students can complete it in 2 academic years. Monthly encounters with professionals and researchers are condensed into one week of seminar lectures and hands-on workshops per month and are combined with online classes and video conference reviews to offer the possibility for students to study from abroad with part-time jobs. Full-time students will have the possibility to develop their own studio and thesis project during the 3 remaining weeks of each month, while part-time students can extend their study over 2 years to complete the studio and thesis project and acquire the master degree.
Students will be part of a highly international group, including faculty members, researchers and lecturers from all over the world, this environment will encourage them to develop collective decision-making processes and materialise their project ideas.
The Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction offers to students the possibility of pursuing the program in 4 different modalities: MRAC01 full time, MRAC01 part-time, MRAC01 + OTF and MRAC02* (to be announced).
The MRAC program comprises the following elements:
- Theory and Context Obligatory Seminar
- Software Obligatory Seminars
- Hardware Obligatory Seminars
- Research and Design Studios
The program is structured as it follows:
Term 1 - Materialising with Machines
Human to Robot, From Digital to Physical – 23 ECTS full time or 15 ECTS part-time
Advances in File to Factory workflow allows for precise and complex constructions. In this new paradigm, the architecture will be mass customised, constructive logic will be encoded, new materials will be introduced and materiality will be programmed.
During this first term, students will explore the possibilities being already offered by digital fabrication and computational design to gain control over the entire process of materialisation from digital to physical, from the human intention to the robot execution. A special focus will be given on the challenges and opportunities raised by Robotic and Additive Manufacturing for construction.
- TE – Digitised Production: Automation, Advanced and Additive Manufacturing in Construction
- TE – Computational design: Parametric models & mass customisation
- TH – Market opportunity: Needs and Challenges of the Construction industry
- RT – Industry and Factory visits
- WS – Robotic Manufacturing
- WS – Additive Manufacturing (3D printing)
- ST – Robotic Craft in Construction – Design Studio
Term 2 - Scanning and Learning machines
Robot to Human, From Physical to Digital – 23 ECTS full time or 15 ECTS part-time (studio is excluded in the part-time students)
Advances in data collection (sensors, drones, etc.) and analysis (optimisation algorithm, AI, etc.) allows for better integration of the construction-specific challenges such as site monitoring and adaptability, heterogeneous materials, inventory management, assembly tolerances, changing climate conditions and team coordination.
During the second semester, students will integrate increasing amounts of data in their workflow, using robotic sensing and digital simulation to get new information about the construction process. Physical computing and analytics will help drive new decision-making processes including iterative logic, computational optimisation and artificial intelligence.
- TE – Physical computing for construction processes: IIoT, I/O Protocols and Sensors
- TE – Computational intelligence: Data Processing and Digital Optimisation for the built environment
- TH – Technology opportunity: Case Study of industry digitalisation and its potential for new applications
- RT – Technological research centre visits
- WS – Aerial Drones for construction site and urban analytics
- WS – Smart Robots: Adaptive Fabrication process
- ST – Robotic Intelligence in Construction – Research Studio
Term 3 - Human-Machine collaboration
Robot with Human, Mixed Realities – 29 ECTS full time or 15 ECTS part-time (studio is excluded in the part-time students)
Advances in Human-Machine Interactions and mixed realities allows for seamless collaboration between humans and robots in factory and construction sites, taking advantages of the best of both the virtual and real world.
During the third semester, students will extend their skills and perspectives towards new devices and strategies that combine existing manual constructive methods with the digital and robotic ones. These new digital craftsmen in factories and construction sites will be the scenario students will use to explore the potential of collaborative robots and Augmented Reality for the construction sector.
- TE – Hybrid Realities algorithm: physical simulations and real-time workflow for augmented reality
- TE – Physical computing for Human-Machine Interactions: motion sensing, mobile devices and new interfaces
- TH – Societal opportunity: how will we work and cohabit with robots? Cultural barriers and potentials.
- RT – Robotic Labs visits
- WS – Collaborative robots for Human-Machine Interaction in the fabrication
- WS – Embedded technologies for Augmented Construction Site
- ST – Robotic Applications in Construction, Pilot Project Thesis
The Master is being developed in close collaboration with industrial partners. Detailed list of partners to be announced.
Industry Partner collaboration within previous IAAC masters editions includes:
- Tecnalia (Cable Robot)
- ABB (Industrial Robots)
- Cricursa (Curved Glass)
- Ceramica Cummella (Custom Ceramic)
- Merefsa (Silicone)
- Santa & Cole (industrial design)
- Breinco (Concrete product)
- Eurecat (Technological Center)
- Design to Production (file to factory process)
- TallFusta (Wood prefabrication)
IAAC is a leading education and research centre on Robotics and Future Constructions. Some of the latest projects of IAAC following parts of the agenda of the MaRC can be found here:
- 3d Printed Bridge
Notes: This program is subject to change according to technology updates and real case studies by industry partners.
The program offers students the possibility of pursuing this Master’s degree through both full-time and part-time* modalities. Specific dates detailed below:
- Full-time program: 9 months – From October 2019 to June 2020.
- Part-time program: 9 + 9 months – From October 2019 to June 2021.
Qualified* students can also apply for individual modules:
- Term 1: 3 months – From October 2019 to December 2019.
- Term 2: 3 months – From Jan 2020 to March 2020.
- Term 3 : 3 months – From April 2020 to June 2020.
- Terms can be taken separately (if the candidate’s profile and skills allow it).
- Studio and Thesis can only be done after taking the 3 learning terms.
- Seminars and workshop classes requiring physical attendance are held during one week of every month. This format allows people with part-time jobs from abroad to attend the courses.
The Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction (MRAC) is aimed at engineers, designers, architects and craftsmen willing to push the boundaries of robotics and advanced manufacturing. An undergraduate degree in a field related to the above disciplines will be required.
Once successfully finished the master program, IAAC students will join the IAAC Alumni Community. This is an active and dynamic network of visionary professionals spread around the world, promoting the principles and applications of Advanced Architecture, exploring new academic and research initiatives, leading award-winning practices or successful start-ups and working for internationally acclaimed firms and institutions.
The aim of IAAC is to form graduates who, after the completion of the program, will be able to develop their acquired skills in a diversity of professional environments, related to the transformation and management of the construction sector.
Program taught in: