Technology Trends Making Waves in the Commercial Construction Industry in 2017

The United States is one of the largest construction markets across the globe, with expenditures amounting to 1,162 billion U.S. dollars. With an increasingly digital world, the construction industry is being reshaped by smart technology and industrial innovation. In a bid to secure their niche and beat the competition, construction companies are incorporating new and creative designs. The following are some trends making waves in the commercial construction industry:

Masonry

Construction Robotics, a New York- based startup has created a bricklaying robot called SAM100 (Semi- Automated Mason). While the average mason can lay around 500 bricks per day, SAM100 lays nearly 3,000 bricks per day with the help of a conveyor belt, robotic arm and concrete pump. The robot was recently upgraded to SAM OS 2.0. which enables it to lay soldier course bricks.

Drones

Equipment manufacturing powerhouse, John Deere is collaborating with startup drone company Kespry to introduce drone services into its network of 400 American and Canadian dealers. Up till now, construction managers would manage their project sites by using rovers, or having workers climb up tall structures to take aerial photos. Drones on the other hand, can take pictures while flying over construction sites. They are fast, efficient and less hazardous.

Worker Safety

Smart Helmet uses 4D augmented reality to provide hands- free visual instructions to workers. Invented by USA based company Daqri, the helmet has a 6th generation Intel m7 processor and a 44° field of view, in addition to 360- degree navigation and stereo infrared cameras. Workers have situational awareness, can actively visualize scenarios and passively record data, while eliminating the need for a centralized location.

3D Printing

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented a robotic system called Digital Construction Platform. The prototype can build the basic framework of a building in less than 14 hours. It has one large industrial arm for reach, and a smaller arm for precision. Different tools can be attached to the smaller arm, like a sprayer head or a welding device. The system is powered electrically, and by solar. Unlike other 3D printing mechanisms, the prototype can create an object of any size.

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