Credit: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Robots will take over the courtyard of London’s V&A Museum this summer to build a pavilion inspired by flying beetles.

The installation – designed by architect Achim Menges – features an undulating canopy of tightly woven carbon fibre cells, drawing on the shells of insects called elytra. Visitors will also be able to watch the robots in action over the course of the summer as they continue to add new sections to the evolving ‘Elytra Filament Pavilion’.

‘We aim to offer a glimpse of the transformative power of the fourth industrial revolution currently underway, and the way it again challenges established modes of design, engineering and making,’ said Menges.

Credit: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart
Credit: ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

The installation forms part of the V&A’s upcoming Engineering Season – beginning 18 May – which explores how the profession has impacted our lives. In addition to Menges’ pavilion, the museum will also hold a retrospective of legendary engineer Ove Arup’s work, including the Sydney Opera House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

V&A director Martin Roth added: ‘We may not know it, but engineers organise the world we live in. Our lives are reliant on visible and invisible systems conceived, built, run or facilitated by the many disciplines of contemporary engineering.’

The pavilion isn’t the only robot-related story of the week. Over in Japan, indoor agriculture company Spread has revealed it is building the world’s first robot-run farm.

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