The realm of robotics has experienced a surplus of expansion, presenting its consumers with an extensive range of solutions to choose from. With a labor force shortage, broken supply chain, and climate emergency, the AEC industry is craving a solution to help combat these growing problems. Although some industry players are weary towards new technologies, the future of robotics may be the antithesis of these roadblocks the space is currently facing. Below are 5 robotics companies that we think will bring stability and lasting solutions into the AEC sector.
“I really love the potential for robotics to decrease waste in the industry to make construction more sustainable. A whopping 10% of the cost of buildings goes towards rework, which translates to wasted materials and energy used to build the same building multiple times before you get it right. Highly accurate layout eliminates a lot of that waste, improving the industry's sustainability metrics and enabling builders to take on more ambitious projects over time.” Tessa Lau, CEO and Co-founder of Dusty Robotics
Want to be featured among other cutting-edge technologies?
Canvas uses machine learning to install drywall at construction sites, all delivered with unmatched quality, speed, and precise work. By putting robots in the hands of skilled workers, project outcomes will begin to work in a much more efficient and effective way.
“We've been very careful and focused on really keeping [the robotics technology] in the hands of workers and rolling out the more autonomous features very, very slowly. So, right now, when you operate our machines, it's the worker that's driving them from work space to work space. It's not driving itself and we're making sure we get enough testing in on that feature before we let it do wall-level driving on its own. We've also spent time making sure that we have what are called no-go zones that the operators can program so that, no matter what happens, it'll never hit a sprinkler or something overhead and do some damage…We've spent a lot of time making sure it has the right levels of intelligence to be safe and I think that's where we focus our intelligence a lot on how to get the work done better and how to be safe as opposed to necessarily, starting with automating everything.” Kevin Albert, Founder and CEO of Canvas
LIFTbuild challenges traditional industry solutions through its manufacturing system approaching four key areas: supply chain, manufacturing logistics, product design, and assembly process. With a vertical construction assembly process LIFTbuild is able to maximize savings within a project’s schedule and budget, all while providing a safe and efficient work environment.
KEWAZO integrates robotic platforms on-site to facilitate digital services in a streamlined manner. They designed a robotic hoist system, named LIFTBOT, that uses their data analytics platform to serve as a solution within scaffolding. According to KEWAZO, there has been between 40-70 percent of saved labor costs within over 28 projects and tests that use LIFTBOT.
Dusty Robotics provides robot-powered tools in hopes of increasing strong solutions within the digital transformation of the AEC industry. With digital automation tools, a building's lifecycle becomes more efficient and cost effective, while also reducing waste. Dusty, the company’s robot, has the ability to print a site outline on the actual floor of the building project, all within a 1/16th of an inch precision.
“Dusty is starting to print QR codes on job sites. These QR codes will link a particular location in the physical world to online resources in the digital world. For example, imagine you're standing on a flat slab on concrete, and you scan a code, and it brings up the 3D virtual model of this apartment up on your tablet. Or you can view the punch list for this cleanroom directly on your phone. The possibilities are endless, and it'll all be enabled by automated layout.” Tessa Lau, CEO and Co-founder of Dusty Robotics
XtreeE's technology platform enables project stakeholders to design and manufacture optimized building materials with large-scale 3D printing. Users are able to equip their 3D printing system, which provides access to their platform with services such as: product catalog, design and production support tools, tools for analyzing print data, and training guides in parametric design and operation of robotic 3D printing systems.
Utilizing robotics within AEC has the potential to expand the bandwidth of the workforce by alleviating the burden of physically stressful postitions pertaining to physical labor. These solutions will serve as a tool to level the playing field and make the workforce more inclusive. Even though there is still work to be done within the AEC industry, solutions like robotics are leading the way for a more sustainable, cost efficient, and ethical future built world.
Even if we're not taking 100 percent of the load off of people, but even fifty to seventy percent, that's going to prolong people's careers and it's going to make it more accessible for folks that maybe aren't as strong or don't have the desire to do a really physical job all day long. I think there's a lot of excitement around lowering that burden of the work and really leveling the playing field so we can recruit more people into the industry.” Kevin Albert, Founder and CEO of Canvas