INDUSTRY

CONSTRUCTION

INTRODUCTION

The construction industry has always been slow to use technology, as Nick knows well from trying to market his mini-computer-based Construction Accounting System in the 1970s. While acceptance may still be slow, uses of technology in the industry are proliferating:

  • 3D technology is being used to build entire structures – homes. and even multi-story buildings. (Charities are using the technology to build homes and schools in impoverished areas,)
  • 4D technology is able to create electrical circuits.
  • Robots have been used for spot and arc welding since the 1960s, but now robots are able to lay bricks faster than a bricklayer journeyman, paint high walls, and saw wood to specifications.
  • Robots will be used to store and transfer material on job sites.
  • Drones are being used to improve safety by flying around job sites, identifying problems.
  • Robots are acting as security guards.
  • Swarms of drones are being used to transfer material in high-rise construction. (So, without buckets on pulleys, the classic request for sick leave will make no sense for future generations.)

The impact on jobs will be substantial. An issue for the industry and its unions is that, with lower-level jobs (such as laborers) being eliminated, and much of the support work for any journeyman automated, the whole apprenticeship process will need to be re-thought.

LEARN FROM THESE YOUTUBE VIDEOS

... AND LEARN MORE FROM THESE ADDITIONAL VIDEOS

REVIEW THESE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES - AND READ THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU

Japanese companies are using robots to help build skyscrapers (Robotics/High-rises - 2018-04 - MIT Technology Review)

Japanese companies are using robots in the construction of skyscrapers to weld beams, move supplies, and install ceiling panels. This only represents about 1% of the total labour. 

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3D-printing a 4-room house in less than a day for <$4,000 (Additive Manufacturing/Homebuilding - 2018-03 - FastCompany)

New Story, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit, which builds housing in the developing world, has invented a truck-mounted, massive 3D-printer that will extrude a 4-room, 6-800 sq.ft., single-story house in less than a day, using local materials, for less than US$4,000.

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MIT’s robot carpenters will saw wood for you (Robotics/Carpentry - 2018-02 - The Verge)

Researchers from MIT have created a new system of robot-assisted carpentry that could make custom furniture and fittings creation safer, easier, and cheaper. AutoSaw is made up of design software and semi-autonomous robots. Users select a template and then adjust for size and shape. This robots autonomously pick up and saw the necessary materials to the correct size. Then users put the finished product together.

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Robot paints walls in hard-to-reach places (Robotics/Painting - 2017-09 - Technology.org)

Estonian company, SprayPainter, has developed a graffiti robot that can climb up and down walls to create large-scale murals. The prototype device attaches 5 spray cans, each with a nozzle, to a little robot that climbs a wall and paints whatever giant image it is programmed to. It is tracked by a computer that determines its position by calculating its place on the cable it travels on. The system creates a full-color printed image in one pass by modulating the duration of each color spray. It mixes colors on the fly, by printing small dots of different colors side-by-side, so that when viewed from a distance the colors blend together.

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3D-printing a 380 sq ft home in 8 hours (Additive Manufacturing/Home Building - 2017-05 - Futurism)

PassivDom, a Ukrainian start-up, uses a 3D-printing robot that can print the walls, roof, and floor of a 380-square-foot model home in about eight hours. When complete, the homes are autonomous and mobile, meaning they don’t need to connect to external electrical and plumbing systems.

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Robotic system 3-D prints entire building's basic structure (Robotics/Buildings - 2017-04 - Technology.org)

Researchers at MIT have developed a robotic system (‘Digital Construction Platform’), capable of ‘printing’ the basic structure of an entire building. The system is comprised of a tracked vehicle that carries a large, industrial robotic arm, which has a smaller, precision-motion robotic arm at its end. As proof of concept, the research team built a 50′-diameter, 12′-high dome (2,000 sq ft), which took less than 14 hours of “printing” time.

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US company 3D-printed a 400 sq.ft. circular house using concrete in 24 hours (Additive Manufacturing/Home Building - 2017-02 - TheNextWeb)

San Francisco-based Apis Cor 3D-printed a 400 sq.ft. house in 24 hours using a concrete mixture which it says lasts around 175 years. The house was built on-site with a crane-shaped printer at their Moscow test facility at a cost of $10,134

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