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Silk worms may no longer be alone in spinning a home from scratch. Researchers at MIT in the US have used swarms of robots that can spin tailored fibres in parallel to build architectural scale structures. The work simplifies use of fibre-glass, which can be awkward and expensive to work with, making it easier to exploit the potential anisotropy as well as the impressive mechanical, thermal, water absorption and termite resistant properties of fibre-reinforced composites that make them particularly useful in architecture. The researchers suggest that their swarms of autonomous spinning “fibrebots” that can produce fibre-reinforced composite structures will usher in “the next era of robotic architecture”.

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