ConsortiQ: Drones aid careers in construction, not replace them
As drones continue to enter the construction sector, there has been increased concerns regarding the long-term usage of the technology within building and construction. International drone consultant, ConsortiQ urges its workers to be excited rather than fearful of the technology, noting how it can aid careers in construction rather than replace them.
Shea O’Donnel, Marketing Executive at ConsortiQ said, “Although many people are excited about drones, there is also a backlash against the technology. This is apparent in the wider world, as well as the construction industry, but we urge those against the use of drones to consider the potential they hold instead.
How much easier is a bricklayer’s life now that concrete mixers are available? Reducing the need to exhaust themselves manually mixing, it allows for more time and effort to be spent in laying each brick perfectly. And the job of the bricklayer is still here today! Drones could offer the same benefits, improving workflow without posing a risk to existing job roles.”
In The UK Drone Usage Report 2016, commissioned by Drones Direct, trades such as construction and plumbing were revealed as being the industries that utilised drones the most, highlighting how widespread the technology is within the sector.
An article in Professional Builder also provided insight into the industry, revealing how there is an urgent need to attract young, skilled workers back into construction in 2017.
Shea O’Donnel continued, “Embracing drones and actively using them more in construction could even help to encourage the new wave of skilled staff that it is desperately lacking. It could make construction exciting, appealing and present it as an industry that is here to stay in the future. These things are all very attractive to youngsters, deciding which career path to follow.”
Read the January 2017 issue of Construction Global here
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.