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
Consistent documentation is one of the keys to running a successful and productive job site, but if you’re still using pen and paper, you’re falling behind. There are several web-based applications available to help you manage and organize your reports and photos in the cloud, including Raken, which has recently updated their web and mobile applications.
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
If you can believe it, we’re already in the middle of gift giving season as December is quickly approaching. Sorting through dozens of aisles in stores and hundreds of pages on line looking for that perfect gift for the construction professional in your life can leave you confused and frustrated. Construction Junkie is here to save the day with our 3rd Annual Ultimate Construction Holiday Gift Guide. Be sure to check out our 2015 and 2016 guide for additional ideas!
FieldLens, a web based application available on both Android and iOs, allows for real-time documentation of safety hazards, job site notes, and punch lists. The app eliminates the need to re-type your notes or send separate emails to the correct people, because it can create instantaneous reports on all the information you typed in to your phone or tablet on the job site.
Recently, Fieldlens added three new features that the company says are requested often
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Concrete can adapt to any shape its formwork calls for while it’s being placed. While it’s POSSIBLE to make intricate designs with the material, it’s not always easy or practical to do so. Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a new method of forming and placing an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof system that they plan on installing on a construction project next year.
The immense technological growth the construction industry has seen in the past decade has been a refreshing change, to say the least. Fax machines, large filing cabinets, and redundant work are slowly becoming a thing of the past. More importantly, software developers are actually paying attention to the construction industry, making our lives collectively easier, while giving us more data to make better decisions. Bluebeam, maker of one of the industry’s favorite construction document software, has recently announced a wireless digital sensor specifically for under construction buildings.
In July, we shared an article about a new augmented reality app that would allow iPhone and iPad users to use their devices’s camera as a tape measure. That app, Air Measure, is now available for download after Apple’s iOs 11 release.