ADSactly Tech News: The Robotic Takeover of Construction and Homebuilding

in construction •  3 months ago

ADSactly Tech News: The Robotic Takeover of Construction and Homebuilding


Image Source: House of Bots

  • Robots can do all sorts of things and a new emerging specialty revolves around the ability to lay bricks and essentially build houses.

  • In addition to robotic contractors there is also a large possibility that homes of the future will be made using state-of-the-art 3d printers.


I remember living through several remodels that my parents commissioned as a teenager. It seems we would always be moving into a house, ripping it to shreds and then rebuilding it only to move into another average house and start all over again. This is the lifestyle of an American teen growing up in the 90s with middle class parents I suppose right?

There is no doubt that robotics is changing the world as we know it. In the past year I've seen and written about amazing developments from burger flipping to exoskeletons to underwater robotic fish and one industry that is seeing a dramatic change is the construction industry which may become one of the largest and most profitable use for modern robotics of the coming century.

A ton of new startups are unleashing an increadibly diverse collection of robots, drones, and software. Construction companies have long faced the problem of not being able to find enough workers but they are in luck considering that we are in a new and modern age of tech marvels and the fact that robots don’t mind getting their hands dirty!

“To get qualified people to handle a loader or a haul truck or even run a plant, they’re hard to find right now,” mining plant manager Mike Moy told the AP. “Nobody wants to get their hands dirty anymore. They want a nice, clean job in an office.”

Employees at a masonry company in Colorado recently learned how to operate a bricklaying robot named SAM, short for Semi-Automated Mason. SAM can lay 3,000 bricks in an eight-hour shift using a conveyer belt and robotic arm. Rather than fearing job loss, however, the workers welcome the opportunity to automate some of their more mundane tasks.

“There are lots of things that SAM isn’t capable of doing that you need skilled bricklayers to do,” said Brian Kennedy of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. “We support anything that supports the masonry industry. We don’t stand in the way of technology.”

Take a minute to see what I'm talking about in the video below:

Another very exciting development is based around the fact that a startup called Built Robotics has made a lot of progress in designing self-operating excavators. I'm talking about backhoes, and other construction vehicles.

“The idea behind Built Robotics is to use automation technology make construction safer, faster, and cheaper,” he said. “The robots basically do the 80 percent of the work, which is more repetitive, more dangerous, more monotonous. And then the operator does the more skilled work, where you really need a lot of finesse and experience.”

If the bricklaying robot didn't impress you, just wait there is more. Oh yes, there's more!

What if I told you there's a 3d printing robot that can make entire houses for only $10,000 each? Doesn't it sound like something out of a sci-fi movie? Well it may have been but these days this technology exists in the real world so let me tell you more about how it works.

As you can imagine, building a house by hand is both time-intensive and expensive. As a result of these constraints there is a new breed of homebuilders who have decided to automate part of the construction process.

According to a recent article published by IRL Science, a company called ICON is using a 3D-printing robot that can make parts for houses. The machine can print the walls, roof, and floor of a 650-square-foot model in as little as 12 hours. A worker then adds the windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems.

To build the house, they use a printer — called the Vulcan — which lays down layers of concrete one by one. After that point a worker then installs the finishes, plumbing, and electrical systems. Apparently, the whole process only takes 12 hours to one day!


Image Source: IFL Science

The two companies that have made recent headlines for creating houses using this innovative technology which include New Story and ICON as it turns out, aren't even the first to 3D print a house.

Upon further research, Business Insider reported last year that the Ukrainian housing startup PassivDom created a 3D printer that can construct a 410-square-foot solar-powered home within eight hours. So clearly the race is on to perfect processes that are involved in completly automating the home building process!

The houses I've discussed in this article are intended for people in the developing world at this point as we have yet to seen machines or successful projects operating on a larger scale.

According to sources, the 3D-printing process costs much less, is quicker, and produces less waste than traditional construction.

The model shown above costs $10,000 in materials but this is still expensive for many living in developing countries. The next step is trying to find a way to reduce the overall cost of building materials to $4,000.

Finally it is their intention to create 100 houses in El Salvador by next year. If this plan goes as intended there will most definitely a significant amount of increased interest in pushing this technologically innovative process forward.


Image Source: IRL Science

Thinking back to my childhood I remember it took months and months for contractors to finish the work on what was my home but simply a remodel job for them. I think it would have pleased me immensely if they could have brought in a robot and got the whole job finished in 12 hours! But then again, wouldn't that mean that they would be out of a job after they had finished?

The question still remains as to whether this is good for people in general. Everyday I write articles about how automation is replacing human labor in almost every field imaginable.

At what point do we decide automation is a bad thing and that we need to make sure there is an abundance of work for real human beings. In the neverending pursuit to reduce costs and increase profit do we also tend to lose our humanity. At least that has been my observation.

What do you guys think about this amazing new robotic construction vehicles and technologies?

Do you think the construction industry will see a major shift in its use of technology in coming years?

Can you envision a fleet of construction robots storming through a site and building a tower in just a fraction of the time it takes human workers to accomplish the same thing?

Here's a chance for the @ADSactly community to leave their thoughts and opinions on this topic!

Thanks for reading.


Authored by: @techblogger

In-text citations sources:

Construction companies are welcoming their new robot workers - House of Bots

A Robot Can Build This $10,000 House Within 12 Hours — Take A Look Inside - IFL Science

Image Source:

House of Bots

IFL Science

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Awareness of the significance of robotization has not completely bloomed into the societal consciousness. It will impact every area of human life as more and more advanced units are designed and deployed. In general, it is a continuation of the trend which began when humans developed agrarian societies. That is, with greater technology comes greater leisure.

As individuals are gradually freed from the more mundane aspects of physical life, they acquire the opportunity to focus on "human concerns" as opposed to "animal concerns." The peculiarities of sentience are able to be reflected upon. Consciousness is a self-reifying field, so the more knowledge is unearthed regarding the universe's operation, the more our collective progress accelerates.

This is a wonderfully exciting phase of this planet's growth. Do not listen to the doom-n-gloom salesmen, the pessimists, nihilists, and fearmongerers. We are emerging into a greater, more expansive, and more abundant future than most can imagine. The volatility, friction, and strife perceived in the world is nothing more than the growing pains of an incredible transformation.

However, this transformation is not primarily technological. It is more philosophical/spiritual in nature, as that is the area of life in which our species is presently most deficient. It still remains to be seen which path we will take. It's up to each of us to make that decision.

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Well said @d-pend. People as a group tend to fear change. We may be on the cusp of the greatest transformation in human history. The question is whether we get there with a soft or hard landing. Clinging to old rigid ideology will not help us in trying to understand and prepare for our new reality. When robotic production does away with a need for human labor it will stress every institution (both social and economic) we have relied on for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. I am so grateful to be alive in such an exciting era.

As robotic technology matures, it will roll into every aspect of our economy. Manufacturing and transportation are obvious. It will also move into medicine and law which is not as obvious to most. There is a raging debate between economist as to whether robotics free men to be much more productive or does it replace man completely and destroy more jobs than it creates. I have read numerous studies on both sides of this debate. They are all compelling in their conclusions based on data analysis. They obviously cannot all be right. The 21st Century is going to be a time of abundance. Our entire human history has been one of scarcity. We have gone to war for thousands of years fighting over limited resources. We have never lived in a time of true abundance. Our laws and institutions will need to evolve to recognize this new reality as it unfolds. We truly live in exciting times. Having built 5 homes, myself, I wish the 3D printer had been invented 20 years earlier. Amazing things are now possible in home construction. Great article @adsactly.

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Very well thought out and well written thoughts here.

As robotic technology matures, it will roll into every aspect of our economy. Manufacturing and transportation are obvious. It will also move into medicine and law which is not as obvious to most.

I've also read about how robotics are starting to be used in medicine but have yet to look into law so thanks for the reference here.

Will robotics free men to be much more productive or does it replace man completely and destroy more jobs than it creates?

I'm quite sure the answer to this question is the latter. More jobs will be lost and societal problems are sure to increase. This is the coming reality we will have to face and new solutions must be found.

The 21st Century is going to be a time of abundance.

I agree but abundance for who? I doubt human nature will change much and clearly, the world already has enough food to feed those that go without, yet these people remain unfed. This is the nature of man which I refer to. In times of real abundance, artificial scarcity will be created to maintain order and control. It is true that some technologies will help us immensely but others will be used to do us harm, will the good outweigh the bad? That's a question hardly worth asking as what will be will be. Remain a lifelong learner and stand up for what you believe in. Thanks for contributing.

The progressive changes of robot in the society is so impressive. On the other hand it has reduced the level of man power in Some land... Which has lead to unemployment... Still seeing robot do things that could not be imagine is a huge success in science... Thanks for sharing this my Steemit friend...

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.

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You have stumbled upon something often overlooked by the masses. What is the greatest resource we possess? It is time. Time to understand, time to change, time to evolve. How does money interact with time, the majority of the world's population is forced to trade one for the other. Time is money. It isn't but that is how society has been structured because the scariest thing imaginable is an entire world of proletariat with enough time to see through all the smoke and mirrors, create solutions to the world's problems which may involve dismantling the status quo and implementing them as a united force of humanity with positive intentions. We must continue to talk about it as painful as it may be to discuss. I do believe this is part of the process towards healing... The world is a boring and dreary place if we cannot muster hope to deal with it!

A person is always happy to outsource hard and monotonous work. Sometimes another person, often a tool or machine. We replaced axes with chainsaws, carts with cars and bills with a calculator. But the scope for modification and rationalization is still very wide. So, modern man come to the aid of robots. The future in construction will definitely belong to robots, this will significantly reduce the time and reduce the cost of construction. In addition, construction is quite a traumatic industry, the use of robotic technology will reduce the risk of injury at the construction site to almost zero. The human resource will still be in great demand, and the most popular profession on the construction site in 20 years will be a robotics engineer. The construction site of the future will look like this: directly on the site, only work on the vertical layout of the territory is carried out. The Foundation device is made by technology similar to 3D printers. Tape or pile foundations are grown in the body of the soil mass also with the help of construction robots-manipulators. The device of the pit and the layout of the site is equipment with GPRS-management of the main working bodies: dozer blade, bucket, etc on the site, the Association is large-block structures of factory manufacturing. Components are prepared in factories, which are robotic enterprises.

Robotic is the present and the future of the world , it is great to see how can the technology develop many wonderful things. Thanks to share this kind of post that shows every new in the world of technology.

i wonder if anyone is bothered about aesthetics. human construction had flaws and features. robotic construction seems well robotic!

all angles and shining parts. there is no warmth or empathy in these kinds of constructions. I guess it is a fallout of such processes.

There is a sense of achievement for a human being that was very easy to come by earlier. robots will take that away from us and make it harder for us to appreciate things that are built.

Sociological problems will ensue and society will face a void. Skills will decline and so will commitments.

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You can program machine intelligent machines to be as nuanced as you want. You want subtle flaws? Just ask the programmer to make it appear randomly throughout the build out and you have your human looking finished product. Old technology suffered from cookie cutter "woodeness". The possibilities as the technology matures are limitless in their abilities. As for the human disconnect I am reminded of my father (an engineer) lamenting that kids today relied on 3D calculators and could not operate a slide rule. I told him a thousand years earlier there were some Roman generals outside the Parthenon lamenting that Roman kids were using slide rules and did not know how to operate an abacus. The more things change the more they stay the same.

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Cool use of historical examples to prove your point! Nice work!

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i guess flaws can always be programmed but not born out of serendipity. maybe serendipity itself can be manufactured. in the end, we will be poorer for it

The construction industry and the medical industry are the two biggest industries where robotics is going to save lives more than it negatively impacts them. People talk about automation like it's a bad thing, that jobs will be lost and for some that is true. However, we are going to see so many lives saved.

My dad was a bricklayer back in his early years. As a result of carrying around wheelbarrows of heavy cement bags and carrying heavy bricks, he has back issues. His issues are not fixable, merely treated with a regular expensive visit to the chiropractor and some medication.

That bricklaying robot, in particular, is going to save the backs of so many young people. I think it's quite common that many bricklayers end up with back issues from not carrying things properly or being asked to do too much. Plus the efficiency of a robot means jobs will be completed in less time and in a consistent manner.

We are starting to see the same thing happen in the medical industry, especially surgery where precise movements and a steady hand are needed. Surgeons now have robotic arms they can control to make tiny incisions and target things like cancers in a less invasive manner.

Make no mistake, some industries will be automated to the point where people will lose their jobs (self-service checkouts at shopping centres, transportation, logistics), but for many, a robotics revolution will mean people can do their jobs better, fewer injuries and better working conditions. For many, it'll just require being reskilled.

The future is exciting.

Excellent article. I just read an article about a company that is 3D printing a 900 SF house for under $5000. Of course I can't find it right this instant, but I'll try to leave the link in another reply.

I spent much of my adult life in and around the construction industry (I fixed the stuff that the bone heads broke). I've seen concrete pours go to near automated happenings. 17 years ago my coffee shop had a floor poured and finished in one night by a robo 'prefinisher. That floor was so close to dead on that it was almost frightening. I installed 60' of cabinet and the error across the run was right at 1/4 inch. Unbelievably close. Grading and finishing grades is becoming almost automatic.

I think the brick layer and the digger are terrific ideas, so long as we keep training skilled labor to finish the jobs.

Thanks for a wonderful and informative article!

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And of course, it's ICON as you mentioned. Different article, though. https://www.wired.com/story/icon-house-3d-printer/

"Reduce the arduousness of masonry jobs"? Certainly, but especially reduce these jobs altogether! Once the machine has passed, what remains to be done by the mason, otherwise 20ù tasks at best ...? Let's not hide our face. Robotization is gradually making people with low qualifications disappear (go find a job as stitcher or seamstress nowadays ...). Here, the mason will be replaced by a highly qualified computer technician.
Every time I read one of these articles, I cringe! The earth's population keeps growing, we're living longer, technology keeps replacing jobs or taking once skilled positions and making them de-skilled/unskilled positions! What kind of future does that leave for an ever increasing number of people? And I'm sorry, but the government can't support you because technically, many of the world's government are already broke!!!!!

The trend of the trend is the mainstream

As the time is passing humans are getting more and more ways to depend of technology I am not sure about that human making our future easy or lazy what you think sir @adsactly

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I have same question can you reply sir

Hi @adsactly this is wonderful to see robots to do construction. I am sure it will happen soon but it must be cost effective alsom definitely it's going to save our time but cost is a very important factor. I have seen robots working in many places like restaurants, houses, shops etc but their involvement in building construction will surely change the paradigm. This is something I have never seen so I thank you for this post. Good work

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How does it go on a uneven surface and it doesn’t move out of other workers way. It still takes a human eye to pick up faults in bricks or the labor might malfunction they are only talking about perfect conditions. And most of all who wants to talk to Sam at lunch or clean his hopper out at the end of a shift after a couple of your mates don’t have a job anymore. Try putting it on a union job as for the wanker with the robotics shirt on I bet he drinks alone and probably has one of those rubber dolls for a partner.

Robots are future. Robots will replace humans! Robots are becoming intelligent day by day. Combination of Artificial intelligence, 3D printing technology and nano technology will change the future of this earth for ever.
Certainly, this development is not without any purpose. One day humans will transfer the data from their mind to a robotic brain and enjoy eternal life. However, this future will not be for every person on this earth. Only rich and powerful will be allowed to do this. Rest population will became a burden. It may be possible that this planet won't be able to sustain life anymore. So, the rich will more to some other planet after transferring their data on robots and the rest of the population would be left to face a cruel futuristic world. This cannot be changed. This is inevitable.

I can see so many applications for a lot of these pieces of equipment. That one piece of equipment with the two manipulator arms that would be ideal for so many different types of work. Construction, demolition, logging, but the most useful would most likely be the use for things like Fire & Rescue. A piece of equipment like that would be ideal for dealing with rescue work.

Hello Sir @adsactly. Robotics and Artifical Intellegence is the future.Great article. this is wonderful to see robots to do construction.I work in construction. I don't see automation for this decade. I see semi automation for sure. But they can't decide things that come up as your building. I am sure it will happen soon but it must be cost effective alsom definitely it's going to save our time but cost is a very important factor.The trend of the trend is the mainstream. As the time is passing humans are getting more and more ways to depend of technology I am not sure about that human making our future easy or lazy what you think!!That one piece of equipment with the two manipulator arms that would be ideal for so many different types of work. Thanks to share this kind of post that shows every new in the world of technology.. Sir
@adsactly.

CAN I ASK ONE QUESTION TO ALL? PLEASE, CAN ANYONE ASSUME WHEN WE WILL USE ROBOTS TO MAKE ANY SAVILE WORKS OE CONSTRUCTION?
BECAUSE I WANNA THAT ERA .

6787277ba6c7d7c8d341fe1e7603b7b5.png

Technology is not the end of the world. It is really amazing to see the use of this technology in your blog!This robot technology will make our work as easy as possible. I can learn more about your blog and feel good about your blog. Technology is improving the quality of our lives. And using these technologies we can do the perfect job.. I know this matter! your blog is
always better and i already joined discord chat :)

If it is possible to do the work of the house so quickly by this robot. Then I think hell from one side is good!The technology can come in our good work as well as the bad side. If the work of homebuilding is perfect and is as strong as it is, then I think the proficiency shown by you will give us 100% work. Technology is one of the steps to improve the world. It's good to see your blog. The writing was good. Thank you for making such a great blog a chance for us to see @adsactly.

I work in construction. I don't see automation for this decade. I see semi automation for sure. But they can't decide things that come up as your building. They can build something so long as the repetitive task experiences no obstructions as its being preformed. Meaning either you would need a thinking robot. Or create a construction industry free of mistakes fir a non thinking machine.

Yeah this century (21th century) is totally technology based century. Robotics technology and digital technology made a huge difference between this century and past centuries.
Robots are doing everything that was done by human in past decades even robots are much intelligent than human. But after the start of robotics era lots of people loss their jobs.
Developing countries are still much behind than top countries like USA and Japan because they are using smart technology to develop.
When I talk about SAM the above Robot which is using to transfer bricks from one place to another place, the Robot is good and suitable for developed countries. But still it will take time to reach in developing countries where every stuff is done by low skilled workers (bricks and all transfer).
Yet SAM is best Robot..

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INTERESTING POST
@techblogger, you always post new things that are then interesting to review. and this time you post robotic ability in building. Building construction is getting faster by using a robot like you said. it is undeniable that we are now faced with technology that continues to offer efficiency and effectiveness in working.
Through the SAM robot the developers will be better able to build a house or building in quick time. and immediately gain financial benefits.
The development process of the backfill, to finishing can be done with the help of robots.
However, behind it all there is something missing. What is that?

  1. A sense of humanity
    if all control is done by one person and all done by the robot then so many workers are later put aside. Those who rely on a little skill fund will be marginalized and must be prepared to be replaced by a robot machine
    If it is not done wisely is not impossible will happen massive unemployment.
  2. improvisation
    with the use of robots then the opportunity to improvise so much smaller than using humans. With robotic technology then all designed more perfect. and robots can not do improvisation in the field. if there are things that do not fit the plan then the robot can not perform the task well, so we must have plan A and plan b before building, because between the implementation in the field and the plan is often the difference that requires improvisation.
    but all of that there will be a solution in the implementation. humans remain in control and the robot is a means to facilitate human tasks. the more robots that can help human beings means our tasks will become even lighter.
    Thank you @techblogger
    Thanks @adsactly
    Thanks Steemit

warm regard from Indonesia

the difference between artificial intelligence (ai) and robot is not so distinct . we should look at how to promote software robot which will supersede the work and activitiesof the physical robots

The automated processes have definitely taken the charge in lot of sectors. Its actually a little surprising that they have waited this long to deliver robotics to the the people of real estate.

Perhaps one of the reasons is that unlike most most automated processes the construction work has to take place in an open site and not inside a factory where it can be controlled. The second reason could be that magnitude of real estate project in sheer physical size could be a problem. Unlike a car that can assembled inside a factory and at most would weigh around a ton, a building could be hundreds of feet high and thousands of tons in weight.

Considering all of the above, the 3D printed houses seems to be of a size that could be handled by Automated machine and robotic manipulators. The more I think about it, the more I understand that this could possibly be a huge market, that we all should take a look at.

Technology is bound to be more cost effective and convenience. It is the new way to go or be left behind!!

If possible please upvote or promote my steemit posts...

I am really excited to see where to future goes. Letting robots construct our homes seems like a pretty good idea to me. Building a house, especially a large one, can be quite challenging for the workers over a long period of time. It's quite common to find poorly constructed pieces which would be expensive to fix. Robots are more "motivated" than human workers and have more consistency in what they build, this is what makes them the perfect employees.
However, the people doing this job right now must not be forgotten. They still need an income and they often miss qualification for a better-paid job. The idea of a universal basic income seems like a pretty reasonable approach to saving the existence of the people doing simple jobs, which will be automated in the near future.

Am really excited about this modern technology.

Robotics and Artifical Intellegence is the future.Great article !!!