Typically, progress tracking on a job site involves a supervisor walking around a job site with a note pad and a camera, but technology is slowly changing the way that process is being done. Drones have been all the rage in construction recently and a team of contractors and software developers have made them an ultra-powerful tool, but some workers are not too thrilled about it.
The Sacramento Kings are building a brand new $477 million basketball arena, the Golden 1 Center, that is set to open in the Fall of 2016. Deadlines in any project are extremely important, but missing a deadline and messing with a sports team’s arena opening has to be near the top of the list for the worst deadline to miss. That is one of the reasons that Turner Construction is using a new drone technology developed by a team of professors from the University of Illinois (U of I).
The software takes video from drones flying above the construction site, converts it to a three-dimensional model, and compares that model to the computerized schedule. This then allows the construction team to analyze where their project is falling behind. With a site as big as this stadium construction, it can be extremely easy to not realize a delay until it’s too late. The video on this project is being captured by ImageInFlight, who specializes in drone video.
Mani Golparvar-Fard, one of the software developers and assistant professor of Civil Engineering at U of I, told MIT Technology Review, “We highlight at-risk locations on a site, where the probability of having an issue is really high. We can understand why deviations are happening, and we can see where efficiency improvements are made.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the construction workers on site are a little weary of being watched so closely, fearing their privacy and being required to work even longer hours to keep pace. The U of I development team is also currently working on another platform that would monitor individual workers and their tasks even more closely. That technology is still in testing.
Below is the most recent drone footage of the brand new area, which shows the first roof truss being installed:
New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone | MIT Technology Review
Caterpillar is not resting on what made it successful in the past anymore and probably for good reason. The equipment manufacturing giant recently bought Yard Club, a heavy construction equipment sharing company, looking to take advantage of the recently popularized sharing economy. Earlier this month, Caterpillar invested $2 million in Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian robotic technology company.
Augmented and Virtual Reality has always been designated for large headsets. Even with recent developments in the construction industry, like Microsoft Hololens and the DAQRI Smart Helmet, if you want to experience AR, you have to get used to wearing something you’re not used to around a job site. As cool as both of those technologies are, it seems that the ole trusty smartphones and tablets have been overlooked. A Danish BIM company has developed a smartphone and tablet application that leaves the headsets behind.
It’s pretty amazing all of the things that smartphones can do right now. While some wish phones would go back to “just making dang blasted phone calls, like the good ole days,” it’s clear that phone’s will always be more than that moving forward. Through apps and other attachments, phones can now turn into a thermal imagine camera, an x-ray vision scanner to see what’s behind walls, a laser measure, and now an augmented reality tape measure.
For many construction superintendents and project managers across the world, tablets are becoming one of the most important tools on the job site. They’re great for looking at plans, taking pictures, making notes, and running your favorite construction apps. Carrying a tablet does take up at least one of your hands, however, so it can be a hindrance if you need to help a co-worker lift material or climb a ladder.
Fiskars was first founded as a Finnish Ironworks company in 1649, making it one of the oldest companies I have heard of that is still going strong. Recently – relatively speaking - in 1967, Fiskars made a name for themselves with their orange handled scissors. Noted for their build quality, sharpness, and durability, these scissors quickly became an industry standard and a leader in the category. Since then, Fiskars has expanded into other areas of the home and outdoors. You may also recognize the name Gerber, as this is one of the brands Fiskars sells under.
Every now and then a new product comes along and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?!” The OVAL Fire Extinguisher is just that product. Architecture and interior design have been moving towards cleaner lines in their spaces. Foregone are the days of bulky protruding water fountains (bubblers for my northern friends) and fire extinguisher cabinets. Interior designers are looking for cleaner and sleeker interior spaces but the 10lb fire extinguishers and cabinets have not changed for quite some time. OVAL is about to change all that.
Do you own Bosch Cordless Power Tools? Is it time for a battery upgrade? Take a look at Bosch’s new CORE 18V batteries. They have gone in and completely revamped their 18V batteries! They are now smaller, lighter, more powerful, have a longer life, and allow for more cuts and drives. Bosch has been able to achieve all of these benefits while also delivering corded performance in high-load applications.
The 2017 Milwaukee Tool New Product Symposium (NPS) was held last week at Milwaukee’s headquarters and it proved to be a whirlwind of new products and information from the red brand. Over 80 new tools and accessories, which will be released throughout the remainder of 2017, were presented to dozens of media representatives, including construction magazines, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and your favorite construction blog (Construction Junkie, obviously).
After flooding our social media pages with Milwaukee information and gathering our thoughts from the event, we’ve come up with our 9 biggest takeaways from the event, in no particular order.
After recently announcing the release of a bunch of new Bluetooth enabled tools and products, as well as an inventory platform, DeWalt has jumped all-in on internet connected construction sites with the announcement of Construction Site WiFi. Construction sites, especially large complex sites, are becoming more and more reliant on internet connectivity to efficiently manage their projects. This is great news for all of you who count on a consistent internet connection to use programs like Procore, PlanGrid, and Bluebeam, among others, to communicate between different parties on the job site and in the office.