Augmented reality on construction job sites has been a focus of several technology companies in recent years. As of now the clear leaders in the category have been the DAQRI smart helmet and glasses and the MIcrosoft Hololens. Early this year, DAQRI introduced their new smart glasses, which are the lighter and more mobile version of their fully protective smart hard hat. The new DAQRI product is a clear competitor for Microsoft’s Hololens, which is also a smart headset product. Backed by the powerful construction technology company Trimble and in a partnership with the University of Cambridge, the Hololens is getting tested with 2 new concepts specifically for the construction industry: Automated Progress Monitoring and Automated Bridge Damage Detection.
Automated Progress Monitoring
Regularly inspecting progress on a jobsite is time consuming, but extremely necessary in order to keep a project on schedule, but it’s also extremely time consuming. Microsoft is testing an application that will hopefully make the process much easier and also use the technology to make the inspections more meaningful. In a blog post, Microsoft explained, “The new trial revolutionises the process by presenting all physical and digital information through HoloLens, allowing inspectors to check, cross-reference and report on inspections very quickly, and collaborate with site representatives.” No additional details have been released regarding this new application yet.
Automated Bridge Damage Detection
As we found out recently, there are now over 55,000 bridges across the United States that are considered “structurally deficient.“ That’s a lot of bridges to inspect and there’s no time to be wasted in order to keep everyone safe on America’s infrastructure. This new application being tested gives the user the ability to take high resolution images and automatically map them onto 3D models of the bridge. Microsoft further explained, “ Structural engineers can then review the integrity of a bridge in mixed reality using HoloLens, making recommendations for repairs or other preventative measures. This reduces costs and is more efficient, making sure bridges do not enter their ‘failure zone’, leading to major road closures and disruption.” You can also check out the video below for additional information about the trials:
It’s that time again to begin Construction Junkie’s annual search for the best construction podcast! Last year, newcomer to the scene ConTechTrio took home the crown for best podcast and they’re continuing to make waves on the platform, with interviews with heavy hitter guests from the world of construction each episode. 2015’s winner was Cesar Abeid’s Construction Industry Podcast, but unfortunately there have not been any new shows released since August of 2015.
read on to nominate your favorite podcast
One of the most challenging issues with modular construction, of any kind, is the sheer size and weight of many of the components that need to be transported and lifted in place once onsite. That presents a specifically tough situation for jobsites that are not easy to get to. Arup, a design, engineering, and consulting team in the United Kingdom, has developed and successfully implemented what they say is the “world’s first modular glass-fiber, reinforced polymer bridge.” You may remember Arup from their testing of a “living wall” scaffolding cover that we wrote about last year.
Snow causes all kinds of travel nightmares and not just on the roads. Snow and ice can cause major airline delays and flight cancellations. Because of these issues (and the large amounts of money to be gained by solving them) several different groups of researchers have been hard at work figuring out ways to reduce and remove snow and ice from pavement without the need for chemicals and snow plows. The first technology to get a full scale test slab installed at an American airport, however, came from Iowa State University professor Halil Ceylan.
The world’s first 3D printed excavator was not the only piece of construction equipment to hold that title at this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas. LiuGong, an international construction equipment manufacturer founded in China, also unveiled the world’s first vertical lift wheel loader at the event.
In 2015, Milwaukee released their robust smart tool management platform, ONE-KEY. The smartphone and web application allows users to not only keep data of their tools spread across different users and jobsites, but it also offers tool customization and tool tracking, for tools that are enabled with ONE-KEY. Earlier this year, the platform got a major upgrade with the release of added tool security, which allow users to hide tools, lock the trigger or footpad, or completely render the tool useless remotely if lost or stolen.
Read on to find out how you can win a free (4) pack of Milwaukee TICK ($99 Value)
Construction apps are popping up all over the place and it’s getting increasingly difficult to determine which ones are right for you personally or right for your business. The truth is, there probably isn’t one application that will meet all of your needs. Procore, one of the leaders in construction project management software, recognized this issue and decided to do something about it.
Solar roofs are an obviously popular choice for those interested in conserving energy, but traditional panels are extremely clunky and expensive. Tesla and CEO Elon Musk announced last year that they have solved that issue, which the impending release of Tesla Solar Roof, which look like a traditional roof shingle.
3D printing has had to overcome plenty of obstacles, including materials, mobility, weather, and height. Slowly, but surely, technology companies are beginning to overcome these challenges. A 400 square foot house was recently printed in concrete on-site, in less than 24 hours and in freezing temperatures. Other companies are working on perfecting 3D printed steel for pedestrian bridges. Height limitations seem to be the hardest problem to solve, however.
Remote sites have extreme challenges, like finding enough staff to work the jobs and being able to get materials to the site. Large mining operations have turned to self-driving dump trucks, like this 320 Ton mega machine, for a few years now. But, Lockheed Martin, a giant in the world of global security and aerospace, has a different solution for remote sites.
3D printing technology faces major issues when it is required to leave the shelter of a warehouse and step foot on a construction job site. 3D printers are extremely large, heavy, and rely on precise calibration for accuracy. Even the first 3D printed office building in Dubai, which was completed last year, had to actually have its components printed off site and assembled on site. But, Apis Cor, a 3D printing company, believes it has created the technology to print a full structure completely on site.