Smart construction partnership explores use of autonomous robots

November 19, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Smart construction partnership explores use of autonomous robots
Positioning solutions company Trimble (Sunnyvale, CA), construction technology provider Hilti (Schaan, Liechtenstein), and engineering and robotics design company Boston Dynamics (Waltham, MA) have announced a collaboration to explore the use of autonomous robots in the construction industry.

The partnership will explore a "proof-of-concept" solution integrating Trimble's and Hilti's construction management software solutions, GNSS technology, and reality capture devices with Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot platform. Autonomous robots, say the companies, can play a significant role in construction, specifically in production and quality control workflows by enabling automation of routine and tedious tasks, reducing workload and improving safety.

"Utilizing robots for routine tasks in hazardous environments to improve safety, efficiency, and data capture consistency is part of our digital transformation vision," says Aviad Almagor, senior director for Mixed Reality and Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) at Trimble. "We are excited for this latest collaboration and looking forward to the potential integration of our hardware and software solutions with the Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot to enhance field-oriented workflows, reduce amount of rework and facilitate on-site tasks."

Equipped with Trimble's and Hilti's reality capture devices as its payload and directly communicating with a cloud-based construction management application, the Boston Dynamics Spot Robot will be able to provide consistent output, deliver improved efficiency on repeatable tasks, and enable up-to-date as-built data analysis. The autonomous, terrain-agnostic capabilities support the dynamic nature of the construction environment, enabling the robot to bypass obstacles and maintain its defined path to support routine tasks such as daily site scans, progress monitoring, asset management and remote support.

Multi-directional communication between the robot, Trimble's and Hilti's payloads, and the cloud application support a continuous flow of information and closes the loop for the construction environment.

Michael Perry, vice president of Business Development at Boston Dynamics adds, "Trimble's and Hilti's domain knowledge, market leadership, and technologies are a great fit for our robotic platform. Deploying an integrated solution in the real-world environment doing dirty and dangerous work, before, during and after the construction stage is a common vision for the three companies, which can help drive the transformation of the construction industry."

Trimble
Hilti
Boston Dynamics

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