It’s unbelievable to see concepts from sci-fi movies slowly become our reality, but as technology flourishes, there has been substantial production and efficiency improvement as tech integrates itself into construction management. With the use of artificial intelligence (AI), there is opportunity for robots to recognize environments and move forward tasks without a human presence. Somewhat scary, right? With news of recent Facebook robot research being shut down because the robots developed their own language, I’m intrigued yet skeptical to the implications of robots’ involvement in construction. With a somewhat limited background on AI and using robotic tools in projects, I did some digging on how this can affect CM as we know it.
Intelligent Machine Control
Equipment that virtually runs independently is no longer a concept of the future—it’s here now, and Komatsu provides an option that understands its environment and performs tasks through location detection sensors and a programmed plan. This advancement removes the risk of human error and injury while sparing intellectual resources for other organizational demands that a robot can’t handle. Although humans are needed to program the equipment and far from obsolete in this equation, the time saving potential is pretty noteworthy.
Project Design “Genie”
Through a concept known as “generative design,” construction professionals can input the details that would make their project ideal (material types, durability, and cost constraints) and a computer will provide design options upholding those technicalities. JB Knowledge points out that, “Using the generative design concept not only allows a human and computer to co-create complex designs, but also allows both a human to learn better design practices from a computer and a computer to learn from a human what does and does not work.”
Streamlining the Administrative
The complexity that goes into keeping everyone on the same page (architects, engineers, contractors, customers, etc.) can be mind-boggling. To allow a smooth integration of data sharing and news updates, there are resources available that function on various devices, whether on the go or in an office. AI has allowed this paperless application to make a project’s coordination significantly smoother, and also create a lighter economic toll.
Diego Ventura, the CEO of nohold.com, affirms that “AI in post-construction has been trending for a few years now in the form of smart home systems and the IoT (Internet of Things). One of the major players includes Samsung C&T with its ability to control temperature, lights, electricity, locks, and robot vacuums; the list goes on and on.”
With this technology ready and available for immediate use, construction teams seeking to optimize their game can choose to take advantage of the options available.