Construction industry increasingly is using robots

May 19, 2019

Construction companies increasingly are incorporating robots to solve labor shortages and improve speed, efficiency, safety and profits, according www.constructiondive.com.

The recent "Construction & Demolition Robots" report from market intelligence firm Tractica says robots are beginning to be used for various construction tasks, which will change the way the industry operates. The largest market will be for robot assistants used at construction sites, followed by infrastructure robots for demolition, site prep and road building; structure robots such as bricklayers, welders and 3-D concrete printers; and finishing robots, which perform tasks such as drilling, drywall installation, cleaning and painting.

The report forecasts revenue for suppliers will increase from $22.7 million in 2018 to $226 million annually by 2025. During that period, it predicts more than 7,000 construction robots will be deployed to address construction and demolition tasks.

Although the construction industry sometimes has been viewed as resisting automation, a skilled labor shortage may force U.S. companies to consider artificial intelligence to address the issue.

To maintain high standards of craftsmanship, some companies are looking to a hybrid "cobot" option; collaborative robots are designed to work alongside human counterparts instead of replacing them entirely to improve productivity for tasks that otherwise would be considered busy work for employees. They reportedly also can significantly lower operating costs by reducing the amount of labor needed for a project.