The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is constantly researching ways to improve construction process and materials, like this material 10 times the strength of steel, or this solar cell that’s lighter than a soap bubble, or this “reversible concrete.” This time the Institute is showing off its autonomous robot that can spit out building structures on site within hours.
This robotic arm concept, which you see in the video at the bottom of this article, has a lot of the same characteristics as the Russian Apis Cor robotic arm 3D printer that recently completed the structure of a concrete house in less than 24 hours. Both robots are mobile, allowing them to visit any job site, and they’re also adaptable to the specific site conditions.
The thing that sets the MIT robot apart from the Apis Cor version is that MIT’s is being designed to be completely self-sufficient, as it even has an excavator bucket attached to it in order to obtain local materials. It also can be powered by the on-board solar panels, so no need to plug it in in certain circumstances.
Like many 3D printing companies today, this is only a proof of concept and the next step is widely expected to be disaster relief, where labor and materials are hard to come by. The idea of providing adequate shelter in times of need in less than 24 hours is certainly an exciting concept. Stephen Keating, PhD, one of the researchers on this project, has his sights set on different planets, as well. “In the future, to have something totally autonomous, that you could send to the moon or Mars or Antarctica, and it would just go out and make these buildings for years,” Keating told MIT News.
The video below shows a foam insulation being placed as a concrete form, but the printing nozzles are able to be swapped out based upon the material being used. Built-in sensors can allow the robot to make on-site adjustments with respect to temperature and light, as well.
Full Story: 3-D printing offers new approach to making buildings | MIT News
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.
Tracking progress on any jobsite is extremely important for your schedule and budget. But, as the project grows larger, tracking progress becomes that much more difficult. How do you accurately determine the percentage of work that the subcontractors have completed across 10 stories and hundreds of thousands of square feet?
10 years ago, the most computer knowledge any construction company would require of its applicants was a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel or a scheduling software. Now, construction companies are finally getting wise to the fact that project management and document management software like Procore, Bluebeam, and PlanGrid can provide an efficiency boost to their projects. Because of this, many employers now have job openings that require knowledge of their software of choice.
If you’ve never used that specific software, how can you make yourself eligible for that role?
At the World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bosch unveiled a world’s first in the form of their 15-Amp Corded GSH27-26 Brute Turbo Breaker Hammer with integrated GPS tracking. While many tool manufacturers have begun adding Bluetooth technology to tools, like Milwaukee’s One-Key and DeWalt’s Tool Connect, there is a limit to what Bluetooth can do. Mainly, the user has to be within about 100 feet of their Bluetooth enables tool to be able to use any of the features.
Starting this year, PlanGrid users and others interested in the world of construction technology will be able to attend an annual construction summit hosted by the company. Several other construction project management software companies have successfully implemented this type of yearly conference in the past, such as Procore Groundbreak and Bluebeam eXtreme. The in-person events are designed to get the software’s users to meet, interact, share tips, and learn from experts.
The construction industry has been notoriously slow to adopt new technology, so much so that we’re probably –and sadly- keeping the fax machine industry afloat single-handedly. Heck, half of you are probably reading this article on a computer still using Windows 2000. I kid. However, Silicon Valley has recently zeroed in on the construction world, because they’ve realized it’s one of the least tapped into markets on the planet and there are billions of dollars up for grabs. That’s not a bad thing, either.