Construction Robotics: 6 Trends in Autonomous Construction

Also known as autonomous construction, the advent of construction robotics provides plenty of opportunities for better safety and efficiency on the job site. Automatic processes could transform the way we structure labor in construction by taking care of repetitive and dangerous tasks. Discover six upcoming trends in construction robotics and how they could help you optimize operations.

1. Autonomous Heavy Equipment

What if your construction equipment could control itself? Autonomous equipment like excavators, skid steer loaders and bulldozers can perform on their own using autonomous controls. Most of the autonomous equipment available today relies on control systems. The user fits the system to equipment made by an established manufacturer like Caterpillar. Then, a software program uses sensor data to control the machine.

2. 3D Printing

Modern 3D printing technology can handle a wide range of construction-grade materials to produce parts for buildings and infrastructure. The user can automate production to create consistent components more efficiently than manual processes. Because of its precise nature, 3D printing can also reduce the waste generated during production. Upcoming 3D printing technology for construction will focus on printing larger components, including entire structures.

3. Drones

Smart drones can "see" a work site using computer vision for applications in security, project management and material estimation. In security, drones act like intelligent, flying security cameras that seek out intruders in response to sensor activation. While supervising a site, modern drones can track project progress and scan on-site materials to estimate total quantities.

4. Demolition

The inherent danger of demolition work makes finding robotic solutions invaluable to worker safety. Today's demolition robots can perform a variety of tasks, including breaking down walls, collecting debris and crushing concrete. Advanced robotic systems for demolition can handle entire sites, including difficult-to-reach areas. While modern demolition robotics perform more slowly than human crews, they greatly increase safety.

5. Semi-Automated Masonry

Bricklaying robots bring modern automation to a centuries-old construction technique. After the user creates a CAD program, bricklaying robots execute the file with extreme precision. As the robots manage the bricklaying process, workers maintain the supply of bricks and scrape excess mortar. These masonry robots can reduce physical strain while improving bricklaying efficiency.

6. Robotics in Lean Construction

The rise of robotics in construction creates more strategies for implementing lean construction into business practices. Because of their precision, construction robots can reduce unnecessary waste to improve efficiency and profits. This advantage perfectly ties in to lean construction's principle of waste elimination. Depending on a company's budget and operations, it may benefit in the long-term from integrating robotics into its lean practices. As automation becomes more prevalent and affordable, we may see more businesses performing lean construction through robotics.

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