Design of Robot-Inclusive Vertical Green Landscape
Vertical gardens have emerged alongside the increase in urban density and land scarcity to reintegrate greenery in the built environment. Existing maintenance for vertical gardens is labour-intensive, time-consuming and is being increasingly complemented by robotic applications. While research has been focused on enhancing robot design to improve productivity, minimal effort has been done on ‘design for robots’ in creating suitable environments for optimal robot deployments. This paper proposed a multi-disciplinary approach that brings together architects, designers, and roboticians to adapt the design of the vertical garden infrastructure to counteract the limitations of the maintenance robot. A case study on an existing plant maintenance robot ‘Urodela’ was conducted to determine the limitations encountered by robotic aid during operation. A robot-inclusive modular design for vertical gardens is proposed based on robot-inclusive principles, namely manipulability and safety, along with architectural design considerations. Design explorations for different configurations of track layouts of the proposed robot-inclusive modular design for vertical gardens is further analysed to validate its applicability and scalability.