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
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.
The construction industry uses too much paper. Ignoring any environmental impacts that may cause, the continued widespread use of paper in the industry is terrible for productivity and efficiency. Construction companies are burdening their employees with tedious paperwork instead of allowing them to excel at their actual jobs. It also greatly hampers collaboration with other team members or customers.
As the construction industry moves further away from handshake deals and getting work solely based on relationships, the importance of marketing your construction company outside your core customers is becoming more and more important. While many companies still don’t have a website, most have at least some sort of online presence.
Over the years, the World of Concrete has become one of the premier construction events across the country. The name may make you think it’s strictly related to concrete, but the truth is that anyone in the industry can find value in attending the massive event. Each year, the Most Innovative Products featured at the World of Concrete are chosen and Hanley Wood, a construction information and marketing company, recently announced the winners.
Caterpillar, a company known for their rugged heavy construction equipment, made headlines in the construction technology world in 2016 when they released the first ever smartphone with a built-in thermal imaging camera, the CAT S60. The company announced on Thursday that its ultra-rugged flagship smartphone would be getting an upgrade with the upcoming release of the new CAT S61.