Arcology Now Universal Constructor

The Universal Constructor is a cool idea from Arcology Now, Inc., which scans the ground to form the basis for the building site plan. The user creates a simple shape; the Arcology software generates structure components, which are all labeled with instructions. Now, all you need is a gang of onlookers to build the structure.

(From Arcology Now, Inc.)

We manufacture the structure out of simple tubular steel. Everything is designed to bolt together with one sized bolt. Our software generates stickers which have all the assembly instructions on them embedded in a code. We put the assembly instructions onto the bars. The bars become the assembly instructions. No confusing manual to look at or loose. Our assembly instructions are written so that large groups of people can work in parallel. Sections of bars are assembled into shapes and then these shapes are bolted together at the end.

This allows large groups of people to come together and build a structure. Our assembly times scale proportional to the number of volunteers. Want to build a warehouse sized object? Just get a couple hundred people together and you can do it in a day. It works like a techno version of a barn raising. It's a great way to bring people together and empower communities.

This scheme is remarkably similar to that of the Bambakias hotel, one of the most clever ideas from Distraction, a very clever 1998 novel by Bruce Sterling:

This Texan hotel, for instance, was an entirely virtual construction, ones and zeros embedded in a set of chips. And yet, the hotel direly wanted to exist. It would become very beautiful, and it was already very smart. It could sweet-talk itself into physical existence from random piles of raw materials.

Oscar lugged the self-declared cornerstone to the corner of the southern wall. "I belong here," the cornerstone declared. "Put mortar on me."

Oscar picked up a trowel. "I'm the tool for the mortar," the little trowel squeaked cheerfully.
(Read more about Bruce Sterling's Bambakias hotel)

All the folks at Arcology Now really need is talking tape, and they'll be in business, Bambakias hotel-style.

Check out the Arcology Now, Inc. website; special thanks to Raymond (@strages) for tweeting me about this really cool company.

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