Construction News recently attended the Autodesk University expo in Las Vegas where some cutting-edge construction technology was showcased. After publishing some of the highlights, we’ve collected some of our favourites!
3D printed concrete
In the Netherlands, 3D printed concrete is being implemented with contractors saying it will contribute to solving the industry’s waste problem. This is because precise replicas of digital designs can be created. Having produced the world’s first 3D-printed bridge in the Netherlands two years ago, company Bam Infra Nederland has mentioned potential partnerships with Heathrow, London Underground and Thames Tideway.
We’ve been talking about robotics in construction for a while now. Last year, a new robotic vest that was designed to increase the strength and support of workers’ arms was being trialled on a live site in Cardiff. EksoVest was engineered to support worker’s arms during heavy lifting, enabling them to lift more but feel less exerted. And now, a robot dog has been invented to help humans too!
Created by Boston Dynamics, the robot dog named Spot, is designed to help humans on construction sites. It can carry up to 14kg, is autonomous and can tackle the rough terrain of construction sites to build BIM models.
VR health and safety
Health and safety is obviously a big focus within the construction industry and it seems VR could help with this.
Consultant Aecom has started to use VR simulations help workers better visualise potential on-site hazards. Through VR headsets, workers can be transported to different construction environments – anywhere in the world.
BIM on wheels
A startup in Barcelona has created a robot that can scan and measure a construction site autonomously. While traditional data capture methods would usually take around 6-7 hours, Scaled Robotics claim their robotic method takes just 40 minutes. Kier has successfully trialled the method in two of its UK projects and it will be widely available to rent from early 2020.
We can only expect more exciting innovations through 2020!
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