The advantages of robotics applied to construction and architecture

11/01/2021

The advantages of robotics applied to construction and architecture

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the architecture and construction sector, thanks in part to the entry of new tools and solutions, such as robotics, which today is the protagonist of our post.

It is clear that it has emerged strongly, as it brings a series of advantages related to sustainability, security and the reduction of costs and time that make it very interesting for the sector.

Moreover, despite the fact that these are features that have appeared mainly in recent years, its evolution has been very great. One of the first robots that saw the light had the sole function of laying bricks on the construction site. It was a very manual task but it did it up to 6 times faster than human work. Something that seems simple but which also implies greater sustainability, by increasing productivity and reducing initial time periods.

But now we find robots that, in the shape of a dog, walk autonomously around the works, digitising and recording the entire construction process, thanks to the incorporation of a 360º camera. It is called Spot Walk and is a clear example of the levels that robotics is reaching in the construction sector.

Without a doubt, the most recent developments have taken place in the field of security, with the aim of minimising risks and boosting efficiency. Some are already capable of reviewing and analysing the development of the work in real time to detect errors that must be solved immediately. In this aspect, drones are a widely used type of robot, as thanks to their characteristics they allow aerial supervision, checking points that are difficult to access and which previously had to be carried out personally, as well as analysing the environmental impact that is being generated.

In architecture, 3D printers, of which we spoke to you a few days ago, are one of the most outstanding robotic solutions that have emerged in recent years, but not the only one. For example, new software has appeared that allows architects to indicate the best possible design for a specific project, thus making buildings that are supported by machines from the initial phase. An example of this is a wooden building in the shape of a bee panel, which would not have been possible without the use of computers and robots.

It seems clear that we are increasingly moving towards the robotization of architecture, but it is also evident that talking about totally automated projects is science fiction.  As the architect Alexander Dubor rightly says, works will continue to need human labour: "Problem solving in an unexpected situation, decision making involving social skills, the design process required by this innovation are still skills that cannot be achieved with robots and artificial intelligence".

Therefore, the role of man both in the design of projects and in their construction is and will continue to be fundamental, so the creation of new robotic functionalities must be oriented mainly towards complementing human work, not replacing it. If the tools that appear fulfil this objective, we will see how they become truly important.

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