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The tech transforming the construction industry

04/07/2017
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As with any industry looking to the future, construction is constantly embracing new working methods and technology. At present, an array of new advances are transforming the way the industry works and operates.
The construction industry is making use of drones to conduct land surveying
Drones
Within construction the use of Drones is centred on land-surveying, offering a quick, easy and efficient way to perform work that previously would have been time consuming.  Human error margins are eliminated, alongside any health and safety issues that may have resulted from surveying problematic or inaccessible land. Purpose designed drones are increasingly widespread, meaning that the technology is becoming ever more efficient and their use more and more common, with things like monitoring a site for security or vandalism prevention purposes being also adopted by Drones.
Building Information Modelling allows for the creation of detailed and accurate representations of buildings
Image via the Crossrail project

Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Essentially moving blueprints on and into the sphere of 3D modelling, Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows interactive and detailed representations of buildings to be created. A major benefit of this is that all information is able to be stored in one place, offering a collective focus for formerly sometimes disparate groups. Contractors, designers, customers and developers are all able to work together easily and collaboratively. Industry insiders are anticipating a future move into 5D modelling, which could see even more advantages brought to the industry in the form of progress visualisation and cost anticipation.
Welding masks are adopting True-View technology which incorporates optical lens technology meaning welders can see more clearly and easily
True-View Welding Masks
Welding masks used on site are adopting True-View technology, which incorporates optical lens technology, allowing welders to see more clearly and easily. This allows work to be performed more efficiently in dark or poorly lit areas, as well as areas subject to air particles and disruption.
Augmented Reality is making it possible to place data and images into a digitised space making
Image via HoloLens

Augmented Reality
Delays to construction work are being reduced by use of Augmented Reality, which makes it possible to place data and images into a digitised space. An image, generated by computer, is placed on a human view of the area, in order to create a composite. Any potential problems can therefore be identified easily, and measures taken to eradicate or minimise them in advance. As with BIM technology, Augmented Reality provides the opportunity for easy collaboration with the many different sections of the construction industry.
The XOEye is enabling audio and visual collaboration directly from the construction site
Image via XOEye

XOEye Safety Glasses
A valuable way of sharing information, safety glasses which incorporate XOEye technology allows everything the user sees to be streamed straight from a video camera to a cloud platform known as Vision, where others can view it. Audio communication is also possible, via embedded microphones and earpieces, as well as an accelerometer and gyroscope, which allow monitoring from a health and safety point of view. The advantages of the XOEye are of course myriad, ranging from the ability to relay information on complex processes easily, to groups of people being able to inspect complex and inaccessible locations.
Aimed at increasing connectivity the Daqri Smart Helmet uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide and use vast amounts of data
Image via Daqri

Daqri Smart Helmets
Aimed at increasing connectivity, the Daqri Smart Helmet uses the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to provide and use vast amounts of data. While the user can utilize the device to do things such as overlay maps and access thermal imaging, everything they see can be fed back to servers, which can then be used for further monitoring and 3D mapping. The helmets are powered by Intel 6th generation m7 processors, feature cameras, measurement units and depth sensors and incorporate a visual display system that uses augmented reality. The advantages of so much technology means users can dispense of carrying many tool such as books, cameras and computer equipment, leaving their hands free for other tasks. Depth sensing equipment also provides safety for users, notifying them of anything that could be a risk. A headband within the helmet can monitor heart rates, temperature, and blood oxygen levels.
The Semi Automated Mason works alongside human bricklayers to speed-up the construction process
Image via Construction Robotics

Robotics
As in many industries, the construction industry is looking to robotics with increasing zeal, hoping to make cost and time savings. One of the most notable new developments is the Semi-Automated Mason (known as SAM), which works alongside a human bricklayer. Tasks such as picking up the bricks and placing them are completed by SAM, while a human counterpart will deal with the more complex issues such as difficult laying areas and preparing the site. The robot features the ability to adapt to differences between planned construction and the physical reality, as well as to operate within conditions such as wind on scaffolding. Sensors monitor angles, and a laser is used as an anchor point from which SAM operates. Productivity is the major advantage, with the robot being able to lay between 800 and 1200 bricks a day, in relation to a human’s capacity of between 300 to 500.

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The tech transforming the construction industry - Time to read 5 min
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