Construction is evolving with technological advances as robotics has paved its way into building and construction. Technologies such as 3D printing, unmanned drones, and entirely robotic construction systems have now been realized.
Automation and robotics has been applied to building enclosures with biomimicry-based active or dynamic façades. These can change and adjust light and shade, humidity, and temperature through vents controlled by sensors connected to a central system and are smartly built to regulate internal conditions and decrease the overall energy consumption. Furthermore, they may contain solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems. Some façades act as bioreactors containing microalgae in glass panels, which produce biomass using solar energy. This biomass is then converted to biogas for shade, fuel, and energy.
3D printing has advanced to a whole new level where components or entire buildings can be 3D printed. The world’s largest CAD-software-based 3D printer was used to create shells for huge sculptures, which can be filled with concrete. In addition, 3D-printed porous bricks or Cool Bricks can control temperatures when filled with water.
Furthermore, brick-laying robots can place bricks based on the algorithm provided to create patterns that increase the stability of buildings and provide aesthetically pleasing results.
Flying drones are used to inspect pipelines, towers, and mines and to deliver packages. All visual inspections on site can be performed using aerial drones. Drones with multiple propellers with high-resolution cameras, laser scanning rigs, and gyroscopic stabilization can be used by builders. Furthermore, 3D digital simulations of existing buildings can be obtained using images from drone cameras to understand repair and maintenance of the building. Multiple drones can be programmed using algorithms to carry construction materials such as bricks and mortar.
Apart from this, an enormous robotic arm using algorithms has been employed to create a wall by brick-laying. A software creates 3D walls, as the robot performs masonry functions.
Furthermore, automated demolition robots can take apart a concrete wall using caterpillar-like treads and targeted water jets. Other remote controlled robots are created such that they cut, crush, drill, and demolish structures to dirt.
In future, construction equipment would be controlled via satellite systems, making huge projects easily manageable. Moreover, Big Data and predictive analytics modeling will take control of construction project management.
Robotics in construction are gradually gaining a stronghold and soon automation will take over this industry making huge construction projects a cakewalk.