A Japanese construction company recently debuted two designs for robot workers that could make up for the growing lack of human construction workers. In a report from The Daily Mail, these construction robots will only be working during evening hours. One of the robots demonstrated by Shimizu Corp. is already being used in several Japanese construction sites. Called Robo-Buddy, the automaton lifted a bunch of wooden boards before hauling them to the nearest elevator. The Robo-Buddy and its partner, the Robo-Welder, featured robotic arms that can twist and turn to fit in various spaces.
The National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) of Japan is developing a humanoid robot that is capable of performing simple construction tasks. HRP-5P can comfortably -- albeit slowly -- install drywall all by itself. In the past, we have seen robots laying bricks and robots assembling Ikea furniture. It seems like construction workers of the future will be robotic, and these examples are just a glimpse of that future.
Cambodia's construction industry is booming, and high-rises are being built across the capital of Phnom Penh. With the city's population doubling over the past four years, it has begun its transformation into a sprawling metropolis. The industry employs a large number of migrant workers who flock to the capital in search of work. Around a third of these workers are women, and photographer Charles Fox's latest project documents them on the building sites. Some of the women are just starting out, others hone skills learnt in the provinces, while others are from the masses of workers who returned from Thailand in 2014 after a crackdown on illegal migrant workers.
The research also shows that artificial intelligence can not only provide new insights to help reduce wear-and-tear injuries, it can also help to boost the productivity of skilled construction workers. These findings come from research conducted at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and they are important given the extent of injuries recorded each year for construction workers. The research specifically focuses on bricklaying.. Here the researchers examined several studies which looked at how motion sensors and artificial intelligence software can help to improve the techniques of bricklayers. Some of the methods were previously unidentified, even for the most experience construction workers.
Robots that can weld, lift and bolt are being developed to help bridge labor shortages at domestic construction sites, though their use will be limited to night shifts when no human workers will be nearby due to safety and regulatory concerns. Major construction firm Shimizu Corp. showed off several robots Monday, including one already in use at construction sites that picked up a big pile of boards and took them into an elevator. The Robo-Welder and Robo-Buddy, with twisting and turning mechanical arms, will be deployed at construction sites later this year, the company said. Japan's construction sector is booming but contractors are struggling to fill labor shortages -- a problem playing out in other parts of the world, including the U.S. The robots demonstrated at a Shimizu test facility in Tokyo can reduce the number of workers needed for each of the tasks they carried out to about a third or a fourth of what's required today. But construction work is so varied, delicate and complex that the robots are able to handle just 1 percent of overall construction work, according to Masahiro Indo, Shimizu's managing executive officer, who oversees construction technology.