Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places in the world. Couple a job site with the general public and they’re disasters waiting to happen. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, 579 people were killed in highway work-zone related accidents in just 2013 alone. Equipment, machines, and clothing are becoming “smarter” every day, even things we never thought about as technology, such as the recent development of the smart hard hat. Tapping into technology allows users greater and easier access to ever important data and, in some instances, safer work environments.
Professor Tom Martin and Kristen Hines, engineers at Virginia Tech, hope to greatly reduce that number with their recent development of a smart safety vest that gives several seconds of warning to workers if danger is approaching. With their creation of the InZone Alert system, workers can be alerted by flashing light, audible alarms, or physical alarms, such as vibrations or compression of your clothing if a car is approaching too quickly or too closely. The researchers’ goal is to create alerts that are distinctive, but won’t startle the user.
With the ever improving technology of vehicles, the Virginia Tech team also hopes to integrate communication between the vest and cars driving by with the use of short range radio signals. That would add to the safety features of the vest by also alerting the driver of the vehicle that they are in immediate danger of causing an accident.
Initial tests of the InZone Alert system have wielded success rates of 90 percent. The higher the percentage, the better, because frequent false alarms would result in users ignoring the alarms or greatly reducing job site productivity. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been conducting testing of the vest on the Virginia Smart Road in Blacksburg, VA, which is a closed course test road for research purposes.
Check out the video of the smart vest below!
FULL STORY: RESEARCHERS' PROTOTYPE VEST OFFERS A WARNING SYSTEM FOR ROADSIDE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, RESCUE PERSONNEL | Virginia Tech
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.
Welcome to another exciting year of Construction Junkie’s Best Construction Podcast competition, 2018 edition. This is our 4th straight year running the competition and this year’s already shaping up to be the best one yet.
Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL) first made headlines late last year when it began beta tests on small test tracks in San Francisco. The ATL is powered by a rooftop cargo carrier that is filled with electronic equipment, including Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). LIDAR utilizes a pulsing laser in order to measure distance and range from objects around it.
In the ever evolving power struggle for the major tool manufacturers, converting users to their personal cordless battery powered platform is paramount. With new battery technology hitting the market, we’ve seen tools that we never imagined would ever be able to be run off of a battery platform even outperform their corded version. DeWalt has recently made another huge advancement in battery technology with the announcement of a new 12.0Ah battery.
Bluebeam Revu is a very popular PDF markup and collaboration tool for the construction industry. Each year, the technology company updates its flagship program to adapt to how their customers currently use the program and makes changes to increase their productivity. Bluebeam recently announced the launch of Revu 2018 and we have a breakdown of all of the changes.
Back in 2015, engineers at MX3D made a huge announcement: they were going to 3D print a steel pedestrian bridge on-site. That plan has been altered slightly in the nearly 3 years since the announcement, but the group recently completed printing the full span of the bridge.
[guest post] The “fatal four” are falls, electrocutions, struck by an object, and caught in/between. Falls alone cause over half of the deaths in construction. With today’s technology, the fatal four could be a thing of the past.
Once upon a time, Dropbox was a place to store your files on the cloud. Now, users are demanding much more collaboration with their files and their teams, so Dropbox has been evolving to meet those needs. Much like other technology companies in Silicon Valley, Dropbox has taken note of the opportunity for growth that the construction industry offers due to general unwillingness to adopt new technologies in the past. The company recently announced that they are forming partnerships with several construction technology companies like PlanGrid and Aconex.
Setting up the software environment for construction projects in your organization should be fast and easy. Learn how to get started and align it with your company & team structure.