In September, Scott Peters, the founder and CEO of Construction Robotics (CR), spoke at our event and shared their research and robotic technologies with our AI4AECO community and their POV about the future of the construction industry. This article summarizes some of the discussions shared during the session.
The construction labor challenge is not limited to a shortage of workers; injuries from lifting heavy objects, the pressure of shorter project lead times, and the desire to diversify the workforce also create challenges. Subcontractors or GCs have to deal with the cost of worker injuries and lost work time due to injuries and early retirement.
Most construction requires manual lifting. Masonry is a typical example of lifting, placing, or holding hundreds of heavy blocks throughout a day, which is incredibly strenuous on the body. How best to reduce workers’ injuries when a construction job requires heavy lifting and repetitive motions?
CR has built robots that handle repetitive motion tasks with fast and accurate placement of objects. One of CR’s solutions is SAM, a bricklaying robot for onsite and prefabricated masonry construction. What can SAM do?
- Bricklaying: SAM can pick a brick, apply the mortar, and place it in the wall. Such technology takes the strain and effort out of the workforce when they are doing highly repetitious or heavy lifting tasks and amplifies the quality of their work and productivity by at least 3.5X, depending on the job setup and activities.
- Installing Digital Designs: SAM can use the digitized design to build the building component per design and ensure the quality of the final element by reducing mortaring cavities and tying the element to the rest of the building structure appropriately.
- Prefabricating Components: SAM can prefabricate components as a mobile factory when site congestion problems make it challenging to install masonry walls.
One of the other solutions CR offers is MULE, which is an ergonomic lift-assist material handling solution. What can MULE do?
- Lifting Materials: MULE handles the weight of the block while workers guide it into position. MULE is a game-changer that will attract new people to the industry because people will no longer see it as a heavy lifting and challenging job. Since MULE helps with heavy lifting, it reduces injuries, reduced insurance claims, and fewer days lost due to injuries, as well as a better general feeling for workers after a full day.
- Gripping Objects: MULE is a very flexible and adaptable solution that has a variety of attachments that allow operators to grip and lift retaining wall materials, stones, CMUs, or panels for installation. Since MULE helps with heavy lifting, manufacturers can build using larger materials. This has increased productivity on job sites by roughly 2Xs.
Construction Robotics provides smarter construction solutions for lifting oversized materials and automating masonry while improving the productivity and safety of the workforce.