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

Machines replacing humans (Robotics/Construction – 2018-04 – John Wong)

 

REVIEW THESE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES - AND READ THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU

People will be living in 3D-printed homes in 2019 (Construction/Homebuilding - 2018-12 - Architectural Digest)

The world’s first 3D-concrete-printed homes, fully outfitted with multiple rooms, will be built in 2019 in Eindhoven, Holland. The homes will first come in single-story units, with multi-level homes to be built shortly thereafter. A special concrete composition, which does not need steel reinforcements, was developed for the printers.

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The most amazing 3D-printing projects of 2018 (Construction - 2018-12 - MIT Technology Review)

The 6 3D-printing projects are: A steel pedestrian bridge (for Amsterdam); Concrete homes; BMW’s millionth component since 2010 (a window guide rail for the BMW i8 Roadster); The Refabricator (turning old plastic items into filament for printers); Self-tracking plastic objects (transmitting usage information); and Weddings (including a bouquet).

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The first 3D-printed steel bridge has been completed (Construction - 2018-10 - MIT Technology Review)

MX3D is 3D-printing a fully-functional stainless steel bridge to cross a canal in Amsterdam.

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This Japanese robot contractor can install drywall (Construction - 2018-10 - The Verge)

Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has developed a humanoid robot that can carry out simple construction tasks, like installing drywall. The research institute is aiming for autonomous replacement of labor at assembly sites for large structures, such as buildings, houses, aircrafts, and ships.

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US Marine Corps Systems Command used a 3D printer to construct a concrete barracks measuring 500 sq ft in 40 hours (Construction/Buildings - 2018-09 - New Atlas)

The US Marine Corps Systems Command constructed a 500 sq ft prototype concrete barracks in 40 hours with one of the world’s largest 3D printer. (If soldiers receive a safe barracks in a shorter time, it could potentially save lives.) It normally takes 10 Marines five days to construct a similar hut out of wood.

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Netherlands building world's first habitable 3D printed houses and cycle bridges (Construction/Home Building - 2018-06 - The Guardian)

Offered because of a shortage of skilled bricklayers, the Dutch city Eindhoven is building concrete, habitable homes made by a 3D printer. Designs can be customized to whatever shape a purchaser wants. Foundations are conventional. Five houses will be rented in 2019. A 3D-printed cycle bridge was built in 2017.

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AI-powered drones increase efficiency, reduce cost, spotting problems humans might miss (Construction - 2018-06 - TechRepublic)

Drones monitor construction sites, farms, and critical infrastructure, sending back real-time data, which is subjected to AI analysis to spot problems. This increases efficiency, reduces costs, and may spot problems humans might miss.

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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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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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