Digital Architecture and Robotic Lab

It is an advanced manufacturing robotic lab designed for high-quality research, as well as for the development of enterprise projects in field of digital manufacturing.

The Digital Architectural and Robotics Lab (DARLAB) is an established research group founded and directed by Associate Professor Federico Rossi part of the School of Built Environment and Architecture.

Advanced robotic manufacturing

DARLAB uses industrial grade robotic setup to develop advanced manufacturing solutions for research and academic purposes. The DARLAB is equipped with a multifunctional robotic platform for advanced manufacturing architectural applications; a robotic platform able to process different materials with custom equipment and tools. A combination with quick-change plates is allowing the robot to achieve different configuration accordingly with the task to be performed.

Applied research

The DARLAB is examining the changes in the requirements for architectural production that result from the introduction of digital manufacturing techniques. Research interest lies in combining data and material, and the resulting implications this has on architectural design. The possibility of directly fabricating building components designed on a computer expands not only the range of possibilities for construction, but, by the direct implementation of material and production logic into the design process, it creates a unique form of architectural expression and a new aesthetic. The objective is to develop integration between new materials, and new tools to develop innovative construction fabrication processes.

DARLAB Director and Founder, Associate Professor Federico Rossi won several grants, KEEP+ grant funded by EU Horizon 2020 and UKMSN+ grant funded by EPSRC UK where advanced robotic manufacturing was the main topic of research and development.

The areas of expertise covered by the research group include:

  • Computational design and digital workflow
  • Development of advanced materials solution
  • Robotic control and automation solution
  • Integrated digital design processes

Robotic manufacturing has changed the architectural profession significantly in recent years and architects, engineers and artists all stand to benefit from industrial robots, like DARLAB, that can be turned into innovative manufacturing tool. In the construction industry, DARLAB breaks typical constraints and solves common problems, for instance by implementing digital workflow in manufacturing embedded with the design process itself.

Federico Rossi, Associate Professor

Enterprise consultancy

We can offer consultancy to match industry needs. This could include consultancy on advance manufacturing solutions,  automation, robot programming and development as well customized training and bespoke solutions for the AEC market. As well we have often collaborated with digital artists, engineers, architects and manufacturer to implement digital fabrication processes.

Industry partners

  • Hiteco: Company is specialized in design and manufacture of high technology industrial electromechanical components for machine tools
  • ESA Automation:  Leader in developing and delivering advanced robotic solutions and components for the processing and finishing of different materials, ranging from stone to composites, from wood to metals.
  • SCM Group UK : company world leader in the production of woodworking machinery and systems and systems for various materials.
  • nlayers3D: Company specialized to provide additive manufacturing solutions for industry and consumer with recycled plastic and ultra polymers.

More information can be found at