When we talk with some of the folks in the construction industry, they laugh when we suggest that the convergence of the major labor shortages and the emergence of on-site robotics will come into play faster than they can imagine.
They tell us that in some of the skilled trades, robots will never be able to replace humans. Well, they might be having second thoughts, especially if they have looked at some of the work being done by Boston Dynamics and their new droid robots – Atlas.
Fast Company has just shown one of the Atlas robots standing after being knocked down. Makes me wonder whether that would be an OSHA reportable accident or whether that might be the end of the reportable accidents?
Boston Dynamics was bought by Google several years ago making Google one of the major competitors in the development of robots that could be used in construction. We know that DARPA has companies working feverishly on bots that the military can use, so the conversion to the construction jobsite is not that large a leap. (Pun intended.)
The emergence of a brick laying robot would make my master mason grandfather shiver. The use of “drywall robots” in Japan in combination with the next generation Atlas, Virtual Reality, BIM and Augmented Reality on the job site makes for an interesting scenario for the next decade of construction in the US and around the globe. We are seeing the beginnings of a major shift, if not a revolution, in the way that tomorrow’s complex buildings will be built.
This is fun but very serious stuff for you to keep your eyes on.
Check out the 2:41 minute video showing the Atlas below: