Robotic Tile Placement

Team: Martin Bechthold, Panagiotis Michalatos, Nathan King, Anthony Kane, Amanda Lee

Sponsored by ASCER Tile of Spain, this project develops an design to fabrication process for the creation of highly complex tile patterns impossible to place economically by hand. The study includes the creation of an integrated digital workflow, the testing of prototypical placement technologies, and a cost comparison with manual placement techniques.

Workflow images of the robotic tile placement process
Robotic Tile Placement Workflow

This workflow  overcomes limitations of existing methods that focus merely on efficiency. This research is to enables the installation of unique, one-off, and highly complex tile patterns impossible to install economically by hand. The research uses computational design and emerging  robotic technologies for tile placement. Weighted randomness or patterns processed based on the analysis of bitmap images produce tile patterns within a cost-effective  software platform. The code for the running of a robotic is generated automatically by the integrated code generator. The code can be simulated through a newly integrated tool that permits tool path visualization as well as cost and time estimates such as set up and placement times, adhesive application, and many more. Robotic tile placement ultimately adds value for tile producers by moving installation of specialty tile patterns to the place of tile production.


King, Nathan & Bechthold, Martin & Kane, Anthony & Michalatos, Panagiotis. (2012). Robotic Tile Placement: Tools, Techniques and Feasibility. 10.22260/ISARC2012/0072. (Link)