As robots are quickly infiltrating the construction job site in order to increase efficiency and combat the shrinking labor workforce, so too have autonomous, self-driving vehicles.
We recently wrote about an autonomous attenuator truck that is set to hit US streets this year. That truck is equipped with a “leader-follow” system, which is designed to stay a safe distance away from and follow a leader car, which would be driven by a human. Attenuator trucks are designed to absorb impact of cars when struck to protect roadside workers.
This time, we’re talking about a 320 Ton Hauling machine with a highly sophisticated GPS system and sensors that allow the truck to operate 24/7/365 without a human driving in or near it. In the video below, you’ll see the Komatsu 930E-4 Autonomous Vehicle drive though rugged terrain in for the mining industry. Some of the areas that mining companies have to work in are in hostile or extremely remote conditions, making it difficult to find qualified professionals to fill the jobs. The self-driving system also increases productivity by approximately 12%, as it is not required to take occasional breaks and can’t call in sick to work.
Currently, Australian mining company Rio Tinto is using a fleet of Autonomous mega machines and they control them from over a thousand miles away at their control center in Perth, which is located in Western Australia. In total, Rio Tinto employs 53 autonomous vehicles for their mining activities.
Video by AutonomouStuff
Last Thursday, every construction professional’s worst nightmare happened. Lives were lost, both construction workers and civilians, by way of the catastrophic collapse of FIU’s under construction pedestrian bridge. We shared what we knew as of late Thursday night, but since this is not only a tragedy directly related to construction, but also a huge learning opportunity for the entire industry, I wanted to make sure we continued to follow and update on the story as it develops.
Terrible tragedy struck Florida International University’s (FIU) campus yesterday when a newly installed pedestrian bridge collapsed onto the road below, killing at least 4 and severely injuring many more.
It’s pretty amazing the work that can get done when a lot of resources and money are thrown at one project. Past examples of this include a gigantic sinkhole that was repaired in Japan in just under a week, the complete emergency rebuild of Atlanta’s I-85 overpass that was completed a month ahead of schedule, and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish a 1,640 foot long overpass overnight.
When anyone sees a hard hat, they typically immediate associate it with construction. It’s the ultimate symbol of safety on the job site. We all know we should wear them, but it’s easy to get annoyed with the minor inconvenience that they cause and forget about the extreme consequences that could result if a falling object catches us when we aren’t wearing one.
Cameras are EVERYWHERE these days. They’re on sites documenting the full construction process of your project, they’re on projects taking 360 degree progress footage, and most importantly, they’re in your pocket on your smartphone. Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be a good or bad thing, especially for employers, because not only can it make lives much easier for communication and documentation purposes, but it also gives people the chance to show the world when things go absolutely terribly.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.
On Sunday, demolition contractors tried to bring down the upper portion of the Pontiac Silverdome, former home to the Detroit Lions, but several of the explosives didn’t ignite and the structure was still upright after the smoke cleared. After videos of the failed demolition were posted online, the internet had a field day.
Construction timelapse videos make extremely complicated and long projects look much easier to build than they actually are. The recently opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi took 8 years to complete, but you can watch the full process in only 3 minutes.