Examining The Necessity Of Light Automation In The Construction Industry
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Examining The Necessity Of Light Automation In The Construction Industry

By CIOReview | Thursday, May 12, 2022

A comprehensive look at the recent development of automation technology in the construction industry.

FREMONT, CA: Building construction machines that are 100% automated is one of the current end goals of manufacturers and research institutes. Many aspects of machine automation will be discussed at bauma, which takes place in Munich during October 24-30, 2022. The Main Association of the German Construction Industry (HDB) and the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association e. V. (VDMA) founded the “Machines in Construction 4.0”(MiC 4.0) during bauma 2019 and, in the recent conference, discussed new methods of automation.

To enable partial automation on more complex construction sites, cross-manufacturer machine-to-machine communication is vital. Another critical component of automation for construction sites is “cobots,” which are robots designed to work in direct collaboration with humans. Developments are being made towards a commercially viable, radio-controlled vibratory plate compactor. The scientists working on it coupled the machine to an excavator in the follow-the-leader principle. The excavator created a plane, while the vibratory plate compactor constantly followed it independently, packing down the bulk.

The I-DOG is a four-legged mobile robot the size of a poodle equipped with sensors for measuring, processing, and analyzing data on building structures on construction sites. The machine can also record and analyze vibrations, using this feature to detect structural damage. To determine its precise localization in space, one of the core requirements of autonomous mobile systems, the I-DOG uses Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, which allows conclusions to be taken about its exact location based on data feed from laser scans.

The Hamburg Köhlbrand Bridge has acted as a reference object in a recent project involving I-DOGs. Several of the robots move around on the monumental construction project collecting data. They take on data generated by intelligent sensors permanently installed in the bridge alongside their data. The end goal is to have robot fleets that collaborate by combining sensor data to get an accurate digital picture of the building with minimal effort.