Robots to build Heatherwick and the projected Google HQ of BIG

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An army of robot-crane hybrid vehicles will probably be assembled to build the new headquarters of Google in California, based on the latest design papers posted by the IT giant

Mockups of the so called ‘crabots’ are featured in lengthy preparation documents submitted to the City of Mountain View Council in Silicon Valley and seen by AJ .

As disclosed last July, the technology company has commissioned Thomas Heatherwick, BIG and engineers AKTII to design its extended HQ, which will house 20,000 Google staff.

The ‘crabots’ are described in the documents as a mashup of flexible crane and robotic machine.

Much of the internal layout of the new HQ of Google will depend on the success of the robots which lift and shift and will roam under the colossal canopies of the site that is sprawling pre fabricated components, furniture and services.

‘We’ve analyzed different choices to create a lightweight, flexible and “hackable” system for the building of the interior structures,’ the paper continues.

‘Our objective is to produce a remedy that can be assembled economically and efficiently within pre-erected canopy structures by way of little, easily manoeuvrable cranes.’

‘Through the life of the buildings this [will] enable reconfiguration and maintenance…of the canopy envelope from within.’

As stated by the design documents, the internal structures of the HQ will adopt an ‘integrated’ system of steel columns and monocoque floor plates.

Their maximum weight of 10 tonnes is the ‘maximum liftable weight’ of a small ‘wieldy crane’, according to Google’s documents.

‘The monocoque system was examined in each of the buildings of the submittal , and it has proved a flexible and resilient system to various degrees of ‘hacking’ and customising,’ they continue.

‘We’ve developed unique edge clip-on parts with the monocoque system that permit to cantilever the floor plates out from the columns.

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