Tech Toys: parachutes for drones, internet-connected hardhats and more
Technologies like BIM, drones, virtual reality and real-time workflow software have made an entrance that will forever alter the scope of the construction industry. Every few weeks, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the latest technology product announcements that promise to boost productivity by saving contractors time, money and labor. To view the entire series, click here.
PlanGrid launches comprehensive Tasks tool
PlanGrid said its newly announced PlanGrid Tasks allows construction teams to track work in one place by creating and assigning tasks to team members in the office or the field. The tool also provides real-time status of any task from a central log.
Tasks also may be organized and prioritized, and project leaders can assign tasks to multiple individuals or groups. Each assignment can contain multiple layers of information, including a description of the work, location, scheduled activities or inspection items, due dates and schedule or cost impacts. Photos can be attached and annotated as well.
Steve Manning, vice president of product, said in a statement that PlanGrid Tasks mitigates risk by providing transparency and increasing collaboration so team members are operating from the same schedule.
Viewpoint unveils new software solutions
Construction management software company Viewpoint released several new software offerings:
ViewpointOne suite is a cloud-based construction management system that connects finance and HR applications with project management and field tools, and is suitable for any size contractor.
Viewpoint HR Management helps to streamline HR processes like applicant and employee tracking, and allows employees to complete self-service HR tasks via cloud-based portals.
Spectrum Business Intelligence includes reporting tools, dashboards, charts, graphs and geographical data mapping and has drag-and-drop features so users can access data and create shareable reports.
Viewpoint Team is geared toward project managers and connects the back office and field operations with subcontractors, suppliers, architects and other members of the team. This version integrates with Vista, the company’s enterprise management planning tool, to help synchronize data and workflows.
Parachutes prevent drone crashes
Austrian company Drone Rescue released three parachutes for multicopter drones. The DRS-5 and DRS-10 models can support drones up to 18 pounds and 11 to 44 pounds, respectively, according to DroneDJ.
Independent sensors and controls detect if the drone is in trouble and electronically deploy the parachute, as well as cut the power to stop the rotors from spinning so that the parachute lines don’t tangle and so no one gets hurt on the ground, DroneDJ reported. A black box in each parachute module records flight data and monitors GPS data, which the company says it included to provide information for potential insurance claims.
Helmet kit monitors worker safety
Ubergizmo reports that Japanese company Shimabun released a kit to upgrade hardhats with an internet of things-enabled module that can monitor if a worker is light-headed, has fallen or is overheating. The manufacturer hopes the kit will prevent accidents, but if an accident occurs, the kit sends an automatic alert.
The system is networked so that all workers can be monitored at the same time, according to Ubergizmo. Data can be recorded to the cloud and analyzed later to see what happened in order to improve overall safety.
Preconstruction management tool built for subcontractors
BuildingConnected announced it launched Bid Board Pro, an all-in-one preconstruction management tool for subcontractors. The company claims that of the subcontractors that fully implemented the tool during the beta period, 25% of them increased win rates and reduced manual data entry by 80%, saving estimators an average of 8 hours per week.
The interface’s key features include:
Centralizing all bid invites without manual data entry.
Discovering new general contractors.
Automating calendar integration.
Facilitating ease of analytics and reporting.
B2W Schedule software helps optimize equipment, personnel on-site
B2W Software says its new B2W Schedule tool provides for collaborative, real-time resource scheduling and dispatching of heavy civil construction employees, crews, equipment and materials. The customizable online solution lets employees communicate and collaborate in real-time so that resources and people arrive at the correct location at the correct time.
Other features include:
An advanced map function allows users to see jobsites and equipment location in relation to each other and maximize efficiency when moving equipment.
A queue organizes equipment moves and allows the user to assign to crews.
Reporting, dashboards and export capabilities allow companies to analyze and maximize data. Subscriptions may be set up so certain employees regularly receive information.
A feature that automatically searches for when resources are unavailable, double-assigned or being moved to the wrong site. It then produces a list of conflicts and presents ways to resolve them.