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
3D printing technologies have significantly improved over the past few years and some have even made it to the jobsite. Not to be outdone, NASA, your favorite America space exploration organization, has announced a plan to being building and manufacturing in low-Earth orbit.
Construction Junkie's 5th Annual Best Construction Podcast Competition has officially come to an end and the results have been tallied. It was a very exciting competition this year, with several very strong competitors pulling in tons of votes.
Construction Junkie’s annual Best Construction Podcast Competition is underway for 2019 and the voting booth is officially open. As part of the contest this year, we will be highlighting one of the contest’s nominees each week. This week we highlight Builtcast.
Spot-r, made by Triax Technologies, is a hardware and software solution for employee tracking and safety. It combines a pager-style clip with a proprietary wireless mesh network to communicate hazards, evacuation notices, and locate who is on the site and where. The company recently announced the addition of access control to their Spot-r platform.
Construction Junkie’s annual Best Construction Podcast Competition is underway for 2019 and the voting booth is officially open. As part of the contest this year, we will be highlighting one of the contest’s nominees each week. This week we highlight Contractor Conflicts Podcast.
In 2016, Elon Musk and Tesla announced that they had developed an innovative solar roofing tile that looks almost identical to traditional roof shingles currently on the market. Standard solar panels look be large and clunky on a roof, which made many excited about a nearly “invisible” solar tile option. After 3 years, we recently got a major update into how the installations of the product is going.
In 2017, Built Robotics made headlines as they debuted their self-driving track loader on a test construction site. Earlier this month, the company announced a formal long-term partnership with construction giant Mortenson to deploy their machines on remote sites.
At Autodesk University in London today, PlanGrid has announced the additions of two new features for the platform: Advanced RFIs and Project Hub. The company has promised better project visibility and a streamlined RFI process with the updates.
Since 2012, the team behind construction technology company, JBKnowledge, puts together the most in-depth construction tech reports. The report gives valuable insight into how contractors are utilizing technology in their offices and on the jobsites and identifies current and future trends.