Construction with bare hands with a dedicated amount of manual labour has almost become a thing from the pages of the history book. With the advancement in technological wonders, most first-world countries have embraced the machinery that runs on human command. While developing countries still depend upon manual labour, developed countries have turned a new chapter on the page of construction technology. Although experts claim that manual labour won’t cease, robots will augment human labour for efficiency, safety, and productivity. The use of robots might range from minute works like automatic soldering to heavy works like building demolition. The present-day market has several enhancements in mechanical construction, which are listed below.
Brick Laying Robots
The robots aid a human with the masonry construction process are labelled under the Brick laying robots. These robots change the water pressure inside the tube, connecting their handle to the robotic arm. Bricklaying robots are medium size and comparatively more straightforward to install than other autonomous systems built for high-rise structures. The cost of running a bricklaying robot is cheaper, considering an adequate amount of human resources is saved. Currently, two types of Bricklaying robots are popular in the market—SAM and Hadrian X.
SAM(Semi-Automated Masonry) system is a subsidiary robotic tool designed to help a mason with on-site work. The primary objective of SAM is to reduce cost and increase efficiency in bricklaying work. The autonomous entity works by lifting bricks, applying mortar, and placing bricks. The mason supervises the process by correctly placing the bricks and cleaning excessive mortar. SAM can be used where construction needs to be completed quickly with limited human labour.
Hadrian X is a masonry robot developed by Fast Bricks Robotics that lays about 1000 blocks of Brick in an hour and can build an entire residential structure in a single day. The advantage of Hadrian X over SAM is its increased efficiency. With the adaption of a faster pace, a sufficient amount of resources is saved.
Construction Layout Robots
Construction Layout Robots are autonomous units designed to draw building layouts or guidelines on a site. Layout robots are smaller than Brick laying robots and need only a tiny amount of human help. The Layout robots have software incorporation techniques developed in them which retrieve data from BIM software like Revit and CAD for faster work. Layout robots are primarily used in the interior construction of a building mass.
Field printers and Theometrics are examples of such construction layout robots. A software, sensor, and liner system are installed in the robot, which is then controlled by a computer. The need for manual labour is sufficiently reduced with rapid execution of work with only so little energy consumed. These robots are also used in modern indoor court design, with areas of basketball and tennis courts being drawn or redrawn rapidly.
The principle of a demolition robot is to safely disassemble parts of a building before it is completely demolished. Demolition robots are heavily supervised by a human presence as many factors like safety, environmental peace, and cleanliness need to be considered. At the same time, a building or a part of it is demolished. Demolition robots are often heavy in appearance, although medium-sized robots are preferred. They have a similar appearance to that of a tractor, with a large extruding hand that rests on the back of machinery. These units are controlled from a computer set far from the site. Building demolition can be completed within a week with proper human supervision.
Several robots are designed to help carry out loads from one place to another without any on-site work involved. Self-driving trucks are used to carry construction materials in extreme conditions. Several robots are designed to fetch raw materials from extreme heat or cold conditions. The adaption of transportation robots reduces the risk of human injuries and carelessness. However, the popularity of transportation robots running on themselves is a relatively new concept with a conflicting rise in popularity among people.
The rising popularity of 3d printers has brought about a positive impact on the lives of students to designers. With the ability to construct the desired entity quickly, designers have become more creative. Similarly, students don’t have to go through the intense labor of manually creating models, which saves them time. 3D printers are injected with a plastic-like material that is melted according to the instructions set by a programmer, ultimately creating a product as required.
Embracing robotics has merits in the 21st century, where everyone is busy. The amount of time one must contribute to manual labour is sufficiently reduced, saving energy and peace of mind. With construction involving robots, economical construction can be achieved as only little energy and labor are involved. Robotic construction has higher precision than human skills; thus, the work quality is at better standards. Robotics allows humans to envision a better world where rapid construction can obtain disaster relief faster. Likewise, third-world countries could taste the sweetness of development faster than ever before.
Japan is relatively forward with the concept of autonomous construction, while other developed countries still lag. A 30 storied rail city building was constructed in Japan using robotics in their construction within a brief period. Similarly, several dams in Japan are constructed by robots with little to no human labour involved. Several bridges and their parts have been constructed by robots with remarkable efficiency.
The possibility of being without jobs as robots replace manual labour haunts American ideologies. Unions in America have protested the use of Robotics, and thus, only little automatic labour can be seen in America. Gulf nations have embraced the concept of robotic labour in limited amounts for the rapid construction of their megacities. A rapid-paced development might be the key to economic construction, but it doesn’t always come in handy with sustainability. Sometimes, the quality of work might not be up to the standards, and some of the robots might need a large energy consumption to function correctly. Keeping sustainability in mind, we as a society could benefit from robotics in construction with more deeds than we could imagine.
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