AR and wearable tech to improve construction site safety
Augmented reality is being used by Skanska in their training. By using 1:1 scale virtual reality for onsite training they are able to simulate dangerous scenarios that would not be possible at a real physical training grounds.
In California, start-up Lightform has developed a new type of augmented reality that works without a headset. They have created a device that adds computer vision to any video projector, with the ability to 3D scan and project images or information onto objects, turning anything into a screen.
Wearable tech for construction workers is being developed to help improve site safety. French construction firm Bouygues is part of a team that has developed an ‘online sleeve’ described as a portable terminal, worn on the forearm. The gadget will allow employees to be guided, informed and given help in real time when they are working in the field, and will allow workers to communicate while keeping their hands free. Other wearable tech being developed include a high-viz jacket equipped with sensors able to analyse the air, glasses with an integrated camera and safety boots allowing geolocation.
Robots on site, is this the answer to the skills shortage?
Australian firm Fastbrick Robotics have developed a machine capable of laying roughly 1,000 bricks an hour, which is equivalent to the entire shell of a house in just two days. The new bricklaying truck is scheduled for commercial launch later this year and could provide the answer to the shortage of skilled bricklayers.
Skanska are developing a 3D concrete printing robot. This new robot could be used on site to produce a variety of elements including cladding panels, which could eventually reduce the cost of such components.
BIM, reality versus aspiration
DotBuiltEnvironment, formerly the BIM 2050 group, is working to develop two prototype applications tailored to construction for the technology: ConstructCoin and the project banking app TraderTransferTrust. It is claimed that this move to what is being called ‘ConstructCoin’ could incentivise collaboration in construction and make payment for information more transparent.
In his article for BIMplus, Andy boutle chair of BIM Regions East, asks is UK construction adopting BIM fast enough? Andy goes on to mention the BIM Level 2 mandate which came into effect in April 2016 and how in reality the proportion of companies that can actually play their part on a BIM Level 2 project to the required standards is still relatively small.