With 20% of construction time spent fixing errors, a Barcelona-based company decided to build a solution that automates the process of monitoring the jobsite. The robot uses LIDAR (light detection and ranging) and autonomous vehicle technology (the same kind of thing used in driverless cars) to build computer models of jobsites.
The robot, which is small and wheeled, rolls around job sites like an industrial Roomba, scanning the construction and building a computer model of all details. That model can be fed directly to the foreman, architect, or engineers, to identify any potential problems that exist in the building.
The company was born out of frustration, “of not having the tools to build what we designed in the office,” says co-founder Stuart Maggs, whose background is in construction and architecture. “You spend a lot of time in the office, creating this vision of what you wanted, that you thought was right, but ultimately, it came down to a guy in the field with just a tape measure and a piece of chalk that will put things pretty much however he felt on that day.”
While it took workers a little while to warm up to the idea of the robot, site managers found immediate benefit in having the little machine rolling around the workplace. The bots have been used across Europe. “They’re a multifaceted tool of efficiency,” says Maggs.
To watch a video about the robot, click here.