Guest professor discusses integrating robots into curriculum

Wes McGee, a lecturer in Architecture and the Director of the FABLab at the University of Michigan, spoke with students on the use of robotics in design. He spoke on Thursday in Bowman Hall. Photo by Zane Lutz

Wes McGee, a lecturer in Architecture and the Director of the FABLab at the University of Michigan, spoke with students on the use of robotics in design. He spoke on Thursday in Bowman Hall. Photo by Zane Lutz

Anna Lemmon

University of Michigan professor, lecturer and digital lab coordinator Wes McGee talked about his teaching, building and technological experiences, particularly those with robots, Thursday night in Bowman Hall.

McGee said the University of Michigan is incorporating more and more technology and fabrication machines, or robots, which help students build their projects.

“What Wes has to offer, especially at the University of Michigan, which has a pretty elite program, is doing something revolutionary in the study of how things are created,” said Connor Wollenzier, a junior architecture major who attended the speech.

McGee’s digital fabrication lab, or Fablab, is primarily used to develop innovative fabricated workloads for architecture.

“Fabrication, in a small sense, is how something is produced based off of a process,” Wollenzier said. “It’s more than just the physical way the robot runs; it’s also the research and development of programs and software.”

McGee shared with the audience projects from the Fablab, showing examples of processes and how things are made. He explained how he teaches his students, and how they learn with hands-on projects using the fabrication robots.

“We’ve had this tool for about five years,” McGee said. “Research certainly centers around integrating this into the academic setting, but also developing novel fabrication techniques.”

Contact Anna Lemmon at [email protected].