Robot Construction on the Moon - Contour Crafting is the latest contender in autonomous robot construction for use both here on planet Earth and on the Moon. The concept allows a robot to construct a building structure by printing it one layer at a time, using sand or regolith available at the building site.
USC Professors Behrokh Khoshnevis (Engineering), Anders Carlson (Architecture), Neil Leach (Architecture) and Madhu Thangavelu (Astronautics) have completed their first visualization for their NASA research grant into the potential use of Contour Crafting robotic fabrication technology to build structures on the Moon. The image shows a storage space being constructed by a Contour Crafting robot housed on a version of the Athlete rover developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The robot prints the structure layer by layer using lunar concrete composed of regolith from the surface of the Moon.
Contour Crafting was invented originally for use on Earth by Behrokh Khoshnevis at USC, whose alumni include Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon. It was recently voted one of the top 15 innovations most likely to change the World. The question now being addressed is how it will change the Moon.