It may sound crazy, but it is beginning to look like robots will have quite a presence on construction sites in the not too distant future.
We’re not necessarily talking about fully humanoid robots that will replace people all together. We’re talking about technology that you might not have realised is already being utilised on the construction site today. As well as robotics that are currently being developed and tested for use on sites.
USE OF DRONES ON THE CONSTRUCTION SITE
A piece of technology that has been kicking around for a while now is drones. But, did you know how useful they can be on the construction site?
Drones are being used by firms to help with quickly and safely collecting information about their site. Just some of the tasks they are capable of carrying out include:
- Inspections – Drones can be used to inspect roofs or facades of buildings with ease. With the ability to collect a wide range of information thanks to zoom settings and thermal cameras.
- Security – Imagery collected by drones can highlight any issues on site, such as damaged fencing or over-heating tanks.
- Reach difficult areas – You can use a drone to quickly see an area without having to send staff climbing up scaffolding or having to tackle with stockpiles.
Even with just a few examples, you can imagine the amount of time and energy can be saved by making use of a drone on your site.
3D PRINTERS USED IN CONSTRUCTION
3D printing is something that was initially thought of to create quick and accurate product prototypes. Usually creating small models from plastic to help visualise a final outcome. However, over recent years 3D printing has come on leaps and bounds. With the technology now being adapted for use on the construction site.
The type of 3D printing being tested for building projects involves using concrete as the printing material. It works exactly like a normal 3D printer, just on a much larger scale! The concrete used has been formulated to be thicker with the ability to hold up whilst drying.
Many of the projects being completed using this technology at this stage are prototypes. However, these prototypes are definitely showing strong potential for the use of 3D printing in the future.
ROBOTS CAPABLE OF BRICKLAYING
In 2016, a robot called the Hadrian X was showcased. The creators demonstrated how it was able to lay approximately 1000 bricks in an hour, which double what a human bricklayer can typically lay in a day. The robot resembles a telehandler, using a 30 metre boom to lay specially designed blocks.
Another form of bricklaying robot has been used to build a house in the UK. The machine used for this project was similar to a 3D printer in the way that it runs on tracks as opposed to using a boom. The machine uses tracks to move and places the bricks and mortar precisely where the control system has instructed.
THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION SITE TRAINING
You may be reading this and thinking “great, my job won’t be needed soon”, but that’s not how we see it. Although the use of technology and robotics is on the rise, it’ll definitely be quite some time before we see it replacing humans on the construction site. Partly due to the high cost of implementing this technology on a large scale. As well as the fact that much of this equipment is still in the testing and development phases.
Once the equipment becomes widely available, we see it as a matter of adapting worker training to be able to utilise the technology alongside traditional methods. Who knows, maybe it won’t be long until we’re offering training courses on drones and prepping sites for 3D printing?
BOOK A TRAINING COURSE WITH DIGGERLAND PLANT TRAINING SCHOOL
At the Diggerland Plant Training School, we offer a wide range of training courses that will help to improve the work on your construction site. Whether you’re in need of excavator training, training to become a site supervisor or require a refresher on your first aid training. We cover it all.
You can browse all of our NPORS training courses here.
If you have any questions about any of our courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us.