Remote Control Robots Developed to Prevent Falls
Researchers from the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) announced last month that they have developed remote controlled robots to prevent falls at construction sites. The goal of the unmanned technology was to install girders and construct piers without putting human workers at risk.
“As it is difficult to secure skilled workers, remote control robots will be a technical alternative to reduce construction disasters,”said KICT head Kim Byung-suk in a statement to Aju Business Daily.
The robots are controlled via a remote system, allowing construction workers to remotely adjust the direction and position of girders from a safe distance. Tools can also be attached to the ready-made robot arms, such as vibrator for tramping concrete, a gripper for adjusting the location of a premade rebar net and a rebar coupler, among others.
Recent Robotics Technology
In October, it was reported that an automation company had developed a new robot specifically for the global scaffolding industry. The German company, Kewazo, reports that it has created a material-handling robot capable of constructing scaffolding.
Dubbed “Liftbot,” the technology automates manual material transport and intends to one day complete entire scaffolding installation tasks for structure maintenance and inspection. To better develop the technology, Kewazo reported late last month that it closed $5 million in Series A funding, which joined it with a growing pack of robotics developers aimed at construction innovations.
The Liftbot technology collects operational data and provides it to customers in the form of a data analytics platform. Those insights aid planning and improve profitability, but also work to provide additional customer benefits through faster, more predictable projects, the company says.
Officials from Kewazo report that with minor adjustments to the existing technology, the Liftbot could be applied to additional tasks such as insulation, painting and other onsite material transport.
In November, Software firm Trimble announced the release of a fully integrated turnkey solution with robotics company Boston Dynamics’ Spot the robot dog. The Trimble X7 3D laser scanner and Trimble Fieldlink software “facilitates autonomous operation on construction sites and takes advantage of the robot's unique capabilities to navigate challenging, dynamic and potentially unsafe environments.”
According to Trimble, the 3D data capture software, jointly developed with Boston Dynamics, provides a continuous feed of information from Spot in the field for documentation of jobsite progress. Utilizing Fieldlink, users can set a predefined path for Spot to follow and scan.
These “data collection missions” can be scheduled to run repeatedly for progress reporting and design validation, reportedly increasing efficiency and creating real-time, as-built data analysis.
Once Spot collects the data with its 3D laser scanner, the composite becomes available on the Trimble tablet controller. Spot and the scanner can also charge onsite at the docking station and provide continuous transfer of data through a Gigabit Ethernet connection.