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
[sponsored] In a world where construction is desperately seeking young people to fill the gaps of an aging workforce, it seems pretty obvious that someone should have come up with a way to incorporate video games into the construction process. Well, thanks to Buildfore’s CtrlWiz, someone finally has, and it allows users to manipulate 3D models within Navisworks with an Xbox controller.
Augmented Reality (AR) is often thought of as an interesting new twist on video games, but, in reality, it has some great potential for solving some common problems in construction. BigRentz, a construction equipment rental company, recently shared an infographic of 6 applications of AR in construction.
It’s that time again to begin Construction Junkie’s annual search for the best construction podcast! Now in our 4th year of the competition, it’s very clear that construction podcasts are gaining in popularity.
In November of 2018, Autodesk announced that it had acquired field productivity software, PlanGrid, for $875 Million. It was huge news for an industry that is finally starting to warm up to the use of technology on the jobsite. This morning, PlanGrid officially released their first integration into the Autodesk platform: PlanGrid BIM.
As smartphones and tablets are slowly becoming one of the most prominent and powerful tools on construction site, construction technology companies are still largely focusing on construction management firms and general contractors. What’s lost on many is the fact that there are dozens of subcontractors on every jobsite that also need to manage their projects.
Late last year, CAT Phones released their first ever smartphone on a US carrier network, the S48c. The phone is currently available on both the Sprint and Verizon Networks and I was recently able to test out the phone to get some better insight into how it operates. Overall, it offers the toughness to hold up to a jobsite at a reasonable price, but continue reading to hear about all of the details.
Tracking progress on any construction progress is an extremely vital step. Artificial intelligence is gaining popularity in the industry, as it can make sense of thousands of images or videos and place them into context. Before the AI can work its magic, though, all of those pictures and videos must be collected. That’s where robotics masters Boston Dynamics thinks they can step in with a robot they’ve been developing for years.
Fatigue on the jobsite is real, so much so that many technology companies have developed products to reduce fatigue and also sense when a worker is experiencing fatigue. There are other wearable devices, like exoskeletons, that can enhance a workers strength and stamina, but when you need to add more than a little punch, Construction Robotic’s MULE 135 may do the trick.
For over 3 years now, Trimble has been teaming up with Microsoft to make the mixed reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, a viable and useful tool for the construction industry. With Microsoft’s recent announcement of their next-gen headset, the HoloLens 2, Trimble also made an announcement about the impending release of a new wearable hard hat compatible device featuring the HoloLens 2.
Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment. An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.