Specialized robots have the potential to raise productivity by doing repetitive tasks efficiently and improve working conditions through applications which create safety hazards for humans.
While the US has a strong research and technology position in this field, applied robotic technology is also well developed in Japan and Russia.
Strictly speaking, there are few industrial robots to be found in the construction sector, but that does not mean there are no other types. Ever since machines came under computer control we have had automation. Automated machines are, in fact, robots. They not only carry out a complex sequence of operations, but can also control their performance. They are self-regulating, correcting themselves as they go. Two common construction robots are: 1) Wall Climbing Painting Robot and 2) Concrete Power Floating machine.
|© Takenaka Corporation
||© Takenaka Corporation
||Concrete Floor Surface Finishing Robots (Surf Robo)
Equipped with two sets of rotary floats and a running function, Surf Robo automatically finishes concrete floor surfaces.
||Steel Frame Welding Robot
This is a robot equipped with a teaching function for the automatic welding of such parts as "columns and beams" or "columns and columns" in steel work.
For more information and photos of Construction Robotics, please visit www.takenaka.co.jp/takenaka_e/robots/robots.htm.
Barriers to Robots in Construction:
- Construction is a diverse industry and one that has to cope with an almost unique set of circumstances on each project and site.
- The unstructured, dynamic nature of the construction site, the hazards and difficulties presented by temporary works, weather and, sometimes, the shear scale of activity mitigate against greater automation.
In the case of buildings, the development of a systematized approach to construction using largely dry, prefabricated components delivered just-in-time has advanced the degree of automation now possible. Although it is still early days, development of this kind is indicative of a longer-term trend.
Robotics is a highly developed technology but the use in construction has been very limited due to the limitations listed in the barriers section. With the implementation of the roadmaps, technology adoption could increase significantly.
The Robotics Institute
1-13, 4-chome, Hommachi
Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0053, Japan
Phone: (06) 6252-1201
Fax: (06) 6271-0398
2131 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 785-6420
Fax: (202) 833-2604