A sector which has manual intensive, relatively repetitive tasks is ripe for automation – yet the construction industry automation has seriously lagged behind in the move towards increasing use of robotics. This is about to change – and here are the main areas of development:
- 3D printing robots which will be able to print an entire structurally safe building
- Brick-laying and masonry: the use of robots can improve both the speed and quality of the construction work. There is even a robot which can 3D print bricks and then lay them.
- Demolition: whilst they may be slower than human demolition crews, robots equipped with heavy-duty equipment are safer and cheaper than their human counterparts
- Monitoring: deploying a robot at night to travel around a site collecting data can monitor accurately progress (and lack of it), enabling project managers to keep accurate control over quality and timeliness. Such accurate measuring of activity and resources will bring about improvements in productivity, benefitting both customer and supplier.
A key driver to develop greater robotic application is the need for lean construction practices. The sector recognises that traditional methods are inefficient, wasteful, and impact on profitability. Robotic technology and AI will reduce waste because of the ability to ensure accuracy and precision. Expect this sector to demonstrate considerable robotic growth in the coming years.