Even though self-driving vehicles are just that, self-driving, they’ve always still had a seat for a driver and a steering wheel. Perhaps that means that designers were afraid that their technology wouldn’t work correctly. Or maybe, customers weren’t fully committed to only being able to use them as a self-driving vehicle. Well, it seems as if Komatsu isn’t worried about either of those things anymore, as they’ve officially unveiled their newest autonomous (self-driving) haulage vehicle this week at MINExpo, which was held in Las Vegas from September 26-28, 2016.
Komatsu has been producing autonomous vehicles for the mining industry since 2008, way before we started seeing Google and Tesla’s autonomous cars hit roads. Since that time, Komatsu says, over 1 billion tons of overburden and minerals have been hauled away by their trucks. The new Komatsu self-driving haul truck will be their first without a cab for a human driver or operator. Without the cab, the truck will be equally balanced while it’s loaded and unloaded. Weighing in at 458 tons (416 metric tons), the gigantic machine has a payload of 253 tons (230 metric tons).
Komatsu will be releasing the new vehicle for purchase “in the near future,” according to a press release, but they’ve released a computer generated video of their new concept, which you can watch below.
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
PlanGrid users may have noticed, or been frustrated with that fact, that some features that are available on the program’s Android and iOS apps are not available on the Windows app. Windows’ Surface tablets have become a popular option for construction teams in recent years, so those users will be happy to hear that the Field Reports function is now available on PlanGrid for Windows.
One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.
We’ve heard a lot of promising developments on construction technologies in the past few years, many of which will not only make the industry more efficient, but create a much higher quality product. Testing this technology inside of a controlled facility, however, doesn’t quite paint an entire picture for how the product will perform on a constantly evolving jobsite.
[sponsored] Construction daily reports are necessary for project management and tracking. The need to keep accurate and complete reports has caused the industry to evolve their process from pen and paper to spreadsheet software and now into simple to use mobile apps and software. This has greatly improved the way that daily reports are created, stored, and shared.
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Just over a year ago, DeWalt announced that it was expanding its reach in construction technology with the release of Construction Site WiFi System. As mobile applications for construction tasks, like daily reporting and plan review, become more and more popular, it’s becoming increasingly important for contractors to ensure there is adequate internet connection on the jobsite. Managing that connection on an often changing construction site can prove to be a bit of a challenge.
PlanGrid users who have been wanting the ability to add additional documents to their field reports within the platform now have the ability to do so with a recent update.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.