By Karen L. Edwards.
Construction work has traditionally been a very labor-intensive job. Increasing speed and productivity meant adding additional workers. With the labor shortage, it’s not that simple anymore and the industry is being forced to look for alternative methods. One of those is robotics.
A new report released by market intelligence firm Tractica shows that a growing number of construction companies are incorporating robots to solve the challenges of increasing productivity, efficiency and profits without adding workers. The report forecasts that the growing interest in construction robotics will drive an increase in market revenue from $22.7 million in 2018 to $226 million by 2025.
It is forecast that more than 7,000 construction robots will be in use on sites to handle a variety of construction tasks and demolition work. The biggest use is estimated to be for robot assistants on construction sites, followed by infrastructure robots, structure robots and finishing robots.
Tractica Senior Analyst Glenn Sanders says, “At this early stage in the construction robotics industry, a few companies are offering products for sale or lease. The main categories that are currently available include robots for demolition, bricklaying, drilling, 3D printing, and rebar tying, plus a few exoskeletons and assistant robots for lifting loads.”
Sanders adds that midsize and major construction companies are beginning to adopt these robots to solve issues related to labor shortages, safety, speed, accuracy, and integration with building automation and building information modeling (BIM).
According to Construction Dive, in order to maintain high standards of craftsmanship, some companies are taking a ‘cobot’ approach where they use collaborative robots to work with crews instead of taking their place. The collaborative robots take on tasks that are simpler, redundant and repetitive, freeing up employees to focus on more skilled work.
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