11/08/18 -- How Praxis Heavy is Rebuilding California

November 8th, 2018

Since groundbreaking began on the California Safe Zone just three years ago, Praxis Heavy Industries has been hard at work deep within the PSW Dead Zone working to build the first of many new cities in the American west. Unlike its sister city, the NYC Safe Zone, the California Safe Zone had little construction available for repurposing due to the severity of fighting across California's urban centers and the devastating wildfires that raged out of control for two years following the EMP that blackened the American west.

Much of what Praxis Heavy Industries has done in the west is conducted behind a veil of secrecy. Though plans outlining the construction of the California Safe Zone, centered around the San-Francisco Bay area was released to the public in 2015, little has been seen since. Now, Praxis Heavy Industries has started to reveal the staggering progress they've made with this futuristic and rapidly-constructed city.

The 2019 deadline for the completion of the California Safe Zone sounded like a pipe dream to many, and up until recently even experts were unwilling to believe that Praxis Heavy Industries was capable of breaking ground in such a thoroughly devastated and uninhabited area with no supporting infrastructure. Today, Praxis Heavy Industries silenced their nay-sayers.

How could they come close to accomplishing such a monumental task? Robots.

In 2013, Praxis was finalizing designs for a swarm robotics system capable of fabricating the basic structure of a building in less than 14 hours based off of three-dimensional designs. Fast-forward three years, and Praxis Heavy Industries mobilized their top secret material fabrication machines to America.

The PHI-Huangdi is essentially a vehicle with a large industrial robotic arm for reach, and a smaller arm for dexterity. The articulated and prehensile tail-like primary arm works much like a 3D printer, allowing teams of Huangdi robots to fabricate structures from easily replicatable materials.

"With this process, we can replace one of the key parts of making a building, right now. We fabricate concrete, glass, and synthetic wood from repurposed materials harvested from the destroyed infrastructure of the surrounding city," said Jiang Sanli, spokesperson for Praxis' robotics development division. "Right now we're breaking down the materials for recycling but in the future we want the Huangdi to be able to break down complex materials themselves and utilize microfabrication processes. But that's a decade off, at least."

Praxis' technology allows for faster, cheaper, and more adaptable building construction compared to traditional methods, according to Sanli. Unlike other 3D printing systems, their free-moving design can create an object of any size. In fact, the first structure built by the Huangdi swarm was the Praxis Heavy Industries Headquarters in the California Dead Zone, a brutalist-style ziggurat of concrete and glass. Human construction services were required to complete construction, from wiring to plumbing. The Huangdi can't build everything, yet. Right now the California Safe Zone is the primary testing ground for Huangdi and will determine the future of these automated devices.

Praxis' Huangdi systems are intended to be self-sufficient, but right now it requires humans to monitor it for safety reasons. In the California Safe Zone, a human team of 2,500 consisting of architects, city planners, engineers, and scientists work alongside a team of 650 Huangdi robots, industriously building the California Safe Zone from the ground up.

Praxis' long-term vision is for the Huangdi system is to work in places such as Antarctica, the moon, and Mars to make buildings out of local materials like ice or moon dust. Sanli declined to give a specific timeline, but he said technology like this could be ready in 50 years or sooner.

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