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Use Advanced Robotic Construction Solutions in Today’s Digital Construction Industry

HP SitePrint Blog

Use Advanced Robotic Construction Solutions in Today’s Digital Construction Industry
HP SitePrint Blog

We're living through a time when technology is radically altering the workplace. No industry is immune from this. The good news is that these changes bring with them a wealth of benefits. In the construction industry, digital technology and the use of advanced robotic construction solutions are revolutionizing the way work gets done.
An example of how advanced robotic construction is changing the game is construction layout development. Before, this required humans to take precise measurements and make markings manually. Now, machines such as HP's SitePrint robot can automate the entire task. These robots can handle complex layouts and surfaces accurately and can work around the clock to get the job done.

Understanding the Digital Construction Industry

When we talk about digital construction, we simply mean the integration of digital tools and processes into the construction workflow. These tools solve problems that have traditionally plagued the construction industry. Cost overruns, delays, safety issues, and quality control can all be improved through the use of digital construction. This technology can take many forms. The most exciting are:

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM): These data-heavy 3D models combine information about structures, timelines, costs, and more into the traditional 3D mockup.
  • Digital Twins: These are dynamic digital replicas of physical construction projects. They can monitor their twin in real time and help predict the impact a modification will have on it.
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): These new visualization techniques allow for more detailed, accurate, and immersive visualization of a project before work begins.
  • Data Analytics: The age of big data and machine learning allows for greater prediction of costs, challenges, and other issues than have been possible before.
  • Robotics: Beyond automating manual labor, advanced robotic construction brings a level of precision, efficiency, and safety to a construction site that humans aren't capable of.

Understanding Advanced Robotic Construction Solutions

Some industries have used robots to improve workflows for a long time. But for most of that time, robots were limited to assembly line-style work. Now, thanks to evolving technology, robots can also help construction sites.
Robots equipped with sophisticated sensors, computer vision, and modern AI have made advanced robotic construction possible. These robots can automate many of the tedious jobs that humans once had to perform.
With cloud-based connectivity, these powerful robots can access more data than they could store on their own and share data in real time with relevant stakeholders. The robots can also use this technology to communicate with one another, allowing them to work together as a team.
At one time, you needed to be a programmer to get a robot to do what you wanted. This often limited robots to simple, repetitive tasks like the assembly line. Now, easy-to-use touchscreens and voice commands allow anyone to operate one with minimal training, giving them much more flexibility.
For example, robots like HP SitePrint can pull a CAD file from the cloud and, with a few simple commands to establish markers, print layouts for complex construction tasks. Any worker can be trained to set them up, and they can adapt to any layout.

Implementation Strategies

If you want to bring robots onto your construction site, the first step is determining where they'll be the most useful. This will ensure you get the best value for your dollar. The tips below will help you make that determination.

  • Evaluate Project Timelines: Are any of your projects consistently experiencing delays because of a particular process? If so, and if a robot is available to take over that process, they are a prime choice for investment.
  • Consider Safety Concerns: Keeping your workers safe should be a top priority. If there are areas of the site that have significant safety hazards, robots may be able to do the work without putting anyone at risk.
  • Compare Precision Requirements: One of the big advantages of advanced robotics construction is the high degree of precision it's capable of. If any aspects of your job require high precision, they're a good fit for a robot.
If you've made the decision to add a robot to one of your workflows, you must take care to introduce the new technology in an effective way. This includes these processes:
  • Train Employees: Anyone who will be working on-site with the robot needs to understand at least the basics of what it is and what it does. Those who will be working with it directly need to know how to operate and troubleshoot it.
  • Start With a Trial: As with any new technology, it's best to get a feel for it before going all in. For example, try letting an HP SitePrint robot layout a smaller job or a small subset of a larger one to see how it works and better prepare you for full-scale integration.
  • Work With Experts: To avoid some of the learning curve, you can partner with technology firms or consultants that specialize in construction robots. They'll be able to help you match project requirements with the robotic capabilities and get you started on the right foot.

Benefits and Outcomes of Advanced Robotics in the Construction Industry

We've already seen the benefits that you can expect when you integrate advanced robotic solutions on your construction site. In this section, we'll discuss them in more depth. In the case of SitePrint robots, you can find case studies that help you understand how they've been able to help similar companies. Other products may offer similar information. Consider:

  • Efficiency: Robots work fast and can work all day and night. With fast completion times, you'll finish projects more quickly.
  • Precision: Their sensors and algorithms give robots exceptional accuracy in their tasks. This improves the quality of the final output and reduces material waste and the need for rework.
  • Consistency: A robot will perform the same task with the exact same level of high quality no matter how long it's been working. This further increases the quality of the craftsmanship.
  • Safety: Many areas on the construction site aren't safe for humans to work in. Robots can tackle these challenges and reduce injuries to your workforce.

Key Considerations and Challenges

The benefits that advanced robotic construction brings far outweigh any downsides. But that doesn't mean you don't need to be prepared for the challenges that come with bringing them onto your job sites. As you plan your integration of robotic workers, keep these points in mind:

  • Budget Properly: Investing in advanced robotics comes with upfront costs. Take the time to understand what all of these costs will be so there are no surprises mid-implementation. Also, be sure to account for any recurring costs that your chosen robot might require.
  • Train the Workforce: We talked a bit about this earlier. Your workers will be working around the robot and could potentially do something that throws it off-task. Everyone who will be near it should receive training on how to interact with it so that it can do its job effectively.
  • Address Concerns: Robots will inevitably bring mixed feelings among your staff. Some will be worried about how well the robot will perform. Others will worry about the security of their own jobs. Open and transparent communication must be used to address all of these concerns and get your workers on board.
  • Legal Considerations: A whole wealth of regulatory or legal compliance issues may come up with the use of robotics. Do the machines meet safety standards? Do they handle sensitive data, and if so, do they comply with privacy regulations? Have your lawyers take a good look at these issues to avoid trouble in the future.

Final Thoughts on Advanced Robotic Construction Solutions

Robots are set to make a big impact on the construction site. These machines can aid their human coworkers by doing tedious or dangerous work. In doing so, they'll provide the company with a level of quality and cost-effectiveness that the human workforce couldn't. Although there are still many jobs on a construction site that robots can't do, these machines can still make a big impact on your business. For more information on our HP SitePrint robot, read through our product FAQ. You can also contact us using the form in the top right corner of the window.

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