Tech

New-Age Construction Would Feature Robot Builders

By Catherin Lue , May 05, 2016 04:11 AM EDT
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From drones to actual mechanical robots, one industry is on the verge of saving the lives of many workers from unprecedented accidents.

BBC reports on new phases of an ongoing research conducted by the team at Loughborough University. The team is getting involved further via current partnerships with firms such as Sanska, Foster and Partners, ABB Robotics and Tarmac. The research involves 3D printing a building site using robotics.

Construction firm Sanska said that the company has a positive view of the technology. Director of Innovation Rob Francis said that 3D concrete printing has great potential to lower down the time required in the creation of a building's complex facets, cutting it to hours instead of weeks.

Professor Simon Austin of the Loughbourough team said that building components getting printed in this manner may seem like an outrageous idea; however, he still considers it as an "attractive approach." Other areas aside from the construction industry are also getting some high-tech help as well.

3D printed porous bricks are also being introduced as an alternative way to help lower down extreme temperatures. Design firm Emerging Objects came up with the unique solution called Cool Bricks that act like sponges and can let air pass through it, thereby giving off a cooling effect as a result. The designers agreed that if homes were built using this nature-inspired design, it could help a little with the effects of global warming.

In other news, the global construction industry is quietly studying other areas of robotics, which could end up replacing humans as workers, according to MarketWired magazine. Embedded sensors as guides to verify progress are also technological innovations being considered.

One fact is that developed countries seem less concerned about adopting to technological changes, like that of labor productivity in the U.S. alone, which has been on a downfall for the past 40 years. This revelation is an unexpected surprise, considering the construction industry accounted for 6 percent of the world's GDP. 

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