As the construction industry continues to grow and thrive, many construction tech advances are being made to ensure stronger, sturdier, and better-quality builds. The industry has changed so much, especially since the invention of computers.
Today, a lot of construction projects utilize many different technologies from the inception of a project all the way through completion. Innovation has been a key in bringing construction careers to the forefront of employment opportunities, and this is just the beginning.
Here is a list of five major pieces of construction technology to watch for this year.
Drone Use in Construction
Drones are commonly used for taking photos or creating beautiful videos from heights and angles not easily reached by the average photographer. They are often used for filming television and film scenes as well. So how and why are drones such a big deal in the construction industry? Drones help as an extra set of eyes for security, mapping, tracking inventory, and even assisting with building inspections.
These tiny flying cameras are a huge help at all stages of a construction project. Many options on the market exist today for mapping and surveying. Drones are capable of flat mapping and 3D mapping. Not only can drones do all of the things mentioned above, but they are extremely cost-effective. Before drones, people had to use pilots to do the same work, which was expensive, time-consuming, and harmful to the environment. Drones save time and money and are only getting better and better.
3D Printing in Construction
Like drones, printers don’t seem like they would be a game changer for the construction industry at first glance. However, being able to turn a pencil drawing or digital design into a tangible, 3D-printed creation is a huge advancement. 3D printers receive much use in the construction industry. So much so, that the average 3D printing systems were not enough, leading to the development and creation of 3D printers used specifically for the industry, called construction 3D printers.
Not only does a 3D printer create a miniature version of a large-scale project, allowing you to make any changes before building the real thing, but 3D printers can also highlight any red flags to save you time and money down the road. If a design has a flaw, the printer can eliminate it. 3D printing is not just for miniature models, though. In fact, it is a great alternative when trying to build in a location that is considered unsuitable, harsh, or dangerous for a human workforce.
As our understanding of 3D printing expands in the next decade, we will also be able to save money and reduce waste by printing man-made materials like bricks and concrete using a printer.
Construction Robots and ExoSkeletons in Construction
The idea of employed robots may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie from the distant future, but it’s already happening today, especially in times of pandemics, social distancing, and labor shortages. There are several kinds of robots, from standard factory robots to fully autonomous creations.
Standard factory robots are those that are built to understand and execute a single task repeatedly. There are also collaborative robots. Think of those like a golf caddy. They make it easier for human employees to do their job, usually by carrying their tools as needed. Lastly, the fully autonomous robots are the ones you’ve seen in movies. These robots are able to act like a person. They can select the correct tools and complete a task on their own.
As for construction exoskeletons, also called exosuits, they’re more machines than robots, although it’s easy to see the confusion. Construction exoskeletons are machines a construction worker can wear. The machines have motorized joints to make repetitive motions much easier to complete. Squatting, kneeling, and bending are simple tasks. However, repeating them daily while working long days can be detrimental to the body, causing injury.
Exoskeletons come in several forms. There are back supports, shoulder supports, and even chair supports. In short, these devices alleviate pain and pressure from the back, shoulders, knees, and hips. There are also exosuits that can encompass the whole body, making it easier to lift heavy inventory items.
Whether you’re using a robot or an exosuit, the physical workload for employees will be reduced. This keeps their bodies in strong, healthy conditions for much longer.
Construction Tech Review of 2022
There you have it — a review of 2022’s construction tech and all of the advancements that have made construction come back with a boom post-quarantine. Technology and construction don’t look like they go hand-in-hand at first glance. However, the two are constantly working together, making each industry stronger. The future of technology, especially in the construction industry, looks brighter than ever.