There’s a small, but growing, fear in the construction industry that robots will soon make construction jobs obsolete, but, in all reality, the next logical step is for technology and robotics to first enhance the jobs of human construction workers. There is a lot of money being poured into the industry every day, looking for the next big piece of technology to take over jobsites by storm. A few recent examples are a bionic suit aimed at construction workers and an augmented reality smart hard hat. The next idea may make scaling walls at construction sites extremely easy.
Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Z-Man grips were originally developed to help military personnel quickly scale buildings to get to safety. Inspired by the climbing abilities of geckos, the scientists went to work replicating their behavior for use by humans. After years of struggles, the group from Draper Labs in Massachusetts devised a series of tiny metal hooks that were strong enough to allow people to first climb brick buildings, and then used magnets to climb metal buildings, using similar techniques that spiders use to climb.
The problem continued to be non-magnetic and smooth walls. After utter despair set in for the scientists, the idea for suction was grips were born. Now, the prototype combines suction cup grips on the hands and foot stirrups that release the suction when lifted up, allowing that corresponding hand to move freely. According to Popular Mechanics, the wall climbing system will cost somewhere between $3-5,000. Though each type of climbing system (metal, brick, and smooth/non-magnetic) are currently separated onto unique devices, the group believes that all three climbing technologies will eventually all be combined into one device.
Full Story: Anyone Can Be Spider-Man With DARPA's Wall-Climbing Invention | Popular Mechanic
As mobile apps and project management software are becoming more prominent on construction sites around the world, it’s important that those getting ready to enter the industry, whether it be through college or trade schools, get the training they need to hit the ground running with these programs. PlanGrid,a construction project management and mobile productivity software, has recently announced the release of PlanGrid Schools & Unions, which gives access to hands-on training curriculum and software licenses to industry educators.
When we first began talking about construction technology in 2015, there were a lot of pie-in-the-sky ideas. Many products had financial backing, but no legitimate proof of concept or path to a commercial market. Fast forward just 3 years and many of those same products are starting to hit limited jobsites and have a viable chance to succeed in the industry.
Autodesk, the software company synonymous with architectural and engineering design, has gobbled up yet another construction related software just a few week after its massive acquisition of PlanGrid. It’s most recent acquisition, BuildingConnected, will help bolster Autodesk’s growing construction brand and help them grow additional profit pipelines.
Almost 3 years ago, Milwaukee Tool rolled out its tool tracking application called ONE-KEY, which is available on Apple, Android, or the web. The tool manufacturer has an ever-expanding line of tools that are ONE-KEY enabled, which not only let users edit the settings of their tools through an app, but they also allow them to lock out a tool, rendering it useless in case it’s lost or stolen.
Fresh of the heels of their $875 Million Acquisition by Autodesk, PlanGrid has released several enhancements to streamline your processes. Through the release of PlanGrid Connect and a couple other enhancements, it will now be easier than ever for users to reduce manual data entry across multiple applications.
2 different tablet belt clips up for grabs! Contest ends on 12/12/18!
A couple of years ago, we shared a video of Fastbrick Robotic’s Hadrian 105, a brick-laying robot built for proof of concept. In a true testament of how long the development of computer-model based commercial robotics takes to develop, the company’s commercial robot model, the Hadrian X, has finally reached a goal that has been sought after since 2015: Building a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home in 3 days.
Another year is about ready to wrap up as the holiday season is upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be stressful for those in your life that are hard to buy for, especially those in the construction ideas. Our goal is to make that process easier for you or your loved one with our top picks for gifts every year!
In regards to technology, the construction industry is going through a very exciting time. While maybe on a smaller scale, it’s my belief that we’re in the middle of our very own Microsoft vs Apple battle circa the 80s and 90s. Several leading software companies are vying for that top spot in our industry right now and it’s becoming more and more clear who will come out on top by the day.
In what has become a popular trend for construction technology leaders, Procore recently held their yearly Groundbreak construction technology conference in Austin, TX from November 13-15. These yearly conference allow companies to reach a core of their user base and announce their past and future enhancements, in addition to performing hands-on training sessions with product experts. Construction Junkie was in attendance for this year’s Gorundbreak and we’ve got you covered with all the details.