The construction industry has been slow over recent years to adapt robot technology. Driven by labor shortages and the constant need to cut costs and raise profits construction companies are integrating robots at a more rapid pace. Robots are now a profitable attraction for construction companies.
But what are some of the “hot” robots in construction? Let’s take a look at a few of the robots that might working in your community at a nearby construction site.
Drones Overhead Keep Construction Moving
Drones have become so common in society that children use them as toys while the military uses much larger versions to drop weapons in far away lands. Construction drones serve a much different purpose.
Drones over a construction site may be completing higher-end tasks than just taking snapshots of construction progress. Drones are already being used for multiple purposes in construction projects. One example is the drone flying above a construction area while it connects to a central server to monitor construction progress, inventory needs, incoming deliveries, and outgoing waste removal.
The drone could at the same time be mapping the construction site using GPS and AI to create a three-dimensional (3D) map to send to self-operating machines. A robotic bulldozer could then be sent instructions on how to excavate soil or clear the landscape.
Bulldozers Dig Away With No Breaks
The previously mentioned bulldozer is an amazing piece of robotic technology. Bulldozers have been used for decades as the frontline heavy machinery in building every aspect of modern infrastructure from roads to bridges to buildings. Bulldozers at one time with the “machines” that replaced dozens and dozens of workers on a job site with one person driving this beast. Now the machines are operating the machinery and they don’t need to break for lunch.
Now the mighty bulldozer can be programmed for specific task within a larger project. Tasks can be as detailed as how many inches the blade will rise and fall as the bulldozer moves around the site to move dirt. Automated machines like this bulldozer are programmed with safety features. Sensors on any self-operating machinery is designed to detect obstructions, people, animals, or vehicles on the job site. There are safety measures implemented like a geofence that prevents the machine for driving beyond its work boundaries. And, the machine can be shut down remotely and instantly by a human overseeing the work.
Robots Create Building Blocks
Can you build a building with a printer? It is a process already being used in building homes. A 3D printer is used to create bricks which are then used to build walls for a house. Companies are watching the introduction of 3D printing technology that can imprint much larger construction pieces. One company is finalizing a 3D print process that can create a single-story house in one day. The printer is aided by a robotic arm that moves the printer as it “lays down” the printed smaller parts of the construction. Layer after layer the 3D printer “prints” a house in real-time.
Robots Aren’t Yet The End Of Workers
Some initial reactions to robotic technology in the construction industry include fear from workers and shock from added cost. If robotic technology is integrated wisely into a construction company the ultimate cost savings and worker benefit can put to rest these strong emotions.
Robots at this point, in specific uses, can complete up to 80 percent of construction site work. Any jobs that are repetitive or dangerous may be replaced by technology. Still, there is that final 20 percent of work which still needs highly skilled workers who can use their years of experience to complete the more intricate parts of the job. Machines need workers and workers can use machines to their advantage, just like the first bulldozer.