The labor gap in construction yawns wide. To combat jobsite staffing issues, tech companies have pushed the envelope, aiming to combat the shortage by creating robots that can complete the work traditionally done by humans.
From humanoid droids to painters and layout machines, here are five robotic solutions that could have applications on your jobsite.
Built Robotics’ RPD35 pile driver
As large contractors expand into utility-scale solar projects, solutions that streamline the process of driving large piles will be crucial.
A single robot tackles four aspects of these builds — surveying, pile distribution, pile driving, and as-builts — per the company’s website. Built Robotics claims RPD 35 works five times faster than a traditional pile driver, and is accurate up to centimeters.
FBR’s Hadrian X
Australian firm FBR claims its brick-laying robot, Hadrian X, is the first mobile robotic and bricklaying system. The machine’s crane arm is mounted on a large truck, which means it can roll up to a jobsite on demand, per its website.
The robot can build the walls of a house in as little as a day, FBR claims, and it builds structures from a 3D CAD model, which reduces waste. These aren’t small bricks, either — New Atlas reports Hadrian X can handle cinder blocks that weigh 99 lbs.
Known for its personal computer products and software, HP ventured into construction last year with its SitePrint product, which automates the tedious site layout process.
While the robot is the main physical component of the product, SitePrint is also a suite of software programs, which includes a touchscreen tablet, a portfolio of inks for different surfaces, and cloud tools to track usage, job preparation and fleet management.
The product launched to the general public on July 19, per the company.
PaintJet says its robot can cut into the work of painting on the jobsite, which can be tedious and time-consuming.
The company’s robot operates on a lift, controlled by a truck, and can paint on new construction, perform repainting and maintenance work and create specialty coatings, according to its website.
Now, the company plans to give the robot more capabilities to spread out the work it can do, from sanding and caulking to pressure washing as well, according to CNBC.
Boston Dynamics’ Atlas
Boston Dynamics’ Atlas captivated enthusiasts from around the world with quirky videos about the bipedal robot’s progression with movement.
The robotics company showed the humanoid tossing a bag to a pretend worker in a simulated jobsite environment, complete with a stylish flip. While Atlas isn’t ready for use on a construction site yet, The Verge reports, the firm is making its way there.
In the meantime, Boston Dynamics’ other bot, Spot, is earning its keep with contracting teams on real, operating jobsites. The quadrupedal, canine-esque robot can take photos of a worksite and navigate construction environments, which frees up workers from certain inspection tasks.