Brick laying robots and more

March 20, 2018 | 12:32
Brick laying robots and more
Brick laying robots and more
Built Robotics is a start-up company making autonomous vehicles for operation on construction sites; they are designed to do all the ‘dirty work’ and heavy lifting. A promotional video on their website shows an autonomous excavator digging out building foundations. It also demonstrates the vehicle’s ability to detect site workers crossing its path. Many of the jobs in traditional building construction can, in principle, be automated.

Evidence of the Industry 4.0 revolution can be found everywhere where a process lends itself to automation. For self-driving cars, the technology is ongoing and becoming more sophisticated. Noah Ready-Campbell, the head of Built Robotics, said as a teenager he worked in his father's construction company and always dreamt that one day machines would be able to do all the dirty, more dangerous and physically demanding jobs in construction. Now as an adult, the former Google-based engineer has his own company, and is bringing his dream to life. His aim is to robotise construction machinery to save manpower. This is of particular relevance in the US, where there is a shortfall of skilled construction workers.
 

Built Robotics with their autonomous excavator are not the only high tech players in the construction industry. Masonry specialists Berich Masonry in Colorado are currently testing a robotic mason called SAM (Semi-automatic Mason). 3D printing techniques using cement have also been adapted to build dwellings (see the videos below). Maybe the day will dawn when most of the artisanal skills used in traditional building construction will no longer be required. Whether this will be a wholly good outcome, remains to be seen.
 
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