Construction Safety: Implementation of Construction Robots.
Construction robots serve as drivers to change traditional construction processes; more importantly, their implementation would transform the construction industry and allow it to deliver more value.
Robotic companies are creating several types of robot technologies to improve work optimization, improve jobsite safety performance, and above all automate the labor-intensive industry. The kind of robots that have found application in construction can be categorized into (1) traditional robots for on-site construction activities such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator, etc. (2) wearable robotics to aid workers and save them from experiencing WMSD such as EKSO vest, Ironhand, etc. Even in the face of delayed technological acceptance in the construction industry, Flying robots (drones) are finding increasing adoption across the many types of robotic technology because, rather than having a worker go 10,000ft above ground level to inspect a structure, the worker may send a drone to be his/her eye at 10,000ft, bringing the work to the worker. Surprisingly, the development of additive manufacturing-3D Printing-technologies in the construction industry is gaining traction in terms of adoption. These technologies have been proven to save time and reduce construction material waste. Researchers have investigated the utilization of 3D printing technologies in the construction industry and reported that, while concrete and steel are the only materials currently used by this technology, more research is underway for the evolution of quality and more efficient materials that can be used by this technology for construction purposes. Furthermore, additive manufacturing is currently a robot-assisted process that involves interaction between humans and robots to accomplish the final product, thus there is a need to optimize human-robot interaction. Even better, these 3D printing robots can evolve to be entirely autonomous, eliminating issues associated with human-robot interaction. We are optimistic that additive manufacturing will revolutionize the construction industry and trigger a shift away from traditional construction techniques. The application of robotic technology will modernize the construction process and result in a significant shift in the construction industry.
Perception of Experts on Implementation of Construction Robots
Construction researchers performed a qualitative survey and case study analysis in 2018 to evaluate the perceptions of construction engineering researchers and practitioners regarding the use of robots in construction. They discovered that the fundamental reason why construction practitioners are implementing robots in their construction processes is to tackle the challenges of manpower shortages, high labor costs, and safety concerns. In other words, robots are utilized to undertake activities that are difficult and dangerous to workers. While contractors are eager to consider the implementation of robots, they face the obstacle of expensive acquisition and maintenance costs. Aside from expenses, policies also impact the use of robots in construction processes. A contractor, for example, will not utilize a robot if the insurance policy that covers the project does not cover the use of the robot. Furthermore, construction engineering researchers and practitioners polled for the study are concerned that the implementation of robots will impede the employment rate of construction workers. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that soon, the high initial cost of acquiring robots will drop dramatically as robotic companies begin mass production of robots, resulting in a high rate of robot implementation in the construction industry.
I hope you found this article to be quite interesting and educational. If you have any queries, please leave them in the comments area.