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Technology

Construction technology: Bionic Builders

Alice-India Garwood
by Alice-India Garwood on February 8, 2019

Robotics aren’t a new addition to the construction industry. Rovers being sent in to check out dangerous parts of construction sites and disaster zones have been used for many years. Injuries from heavy lifting and high concentration of vibration are to blame for a huge number of injuries in the construction industry. It’s something every project manager has to think about and builders need to be aware of. Not to mention, our eagerness to seek ever more efficient ways of working.

So, what if robotics can change this?

From robotic gloves to heated jackets, wearable tech is everywhere in the construction industry turning our builders in to unstoppable bionic building machines!

Safety is a huge issue in the construction industry, and the engineers and scientists at Sarcos are way ahead of the game.

The now infamous Guardian GT from Sarcos has two seven-foot arms, and the ability to bench press 1,000 Lbs!

construction, technology, bionic, bobtrade, materials, supplies, safety, efficiency[Photo Credit: Sarcos Robotics]

The Guardian is all about making construction sites safer, protecting humans from hazardous environments and tasks. Not only this, but bearing the weight of larger objects that can cause irreparable shoulder and back damage if lifted incorrectly.

"Guardian GT can bear the weight of large objects so that construction workers don't have to."

Whilst the Guradian GT requires direct human input, the lesser known Guardian S is a relatively hands free safety tool. More like a rover than an addition to the bionic builder marketplace. Definitely worth researching though!

What about dangers to the hands and arms like carpal tunnel syndrome and vibration white finger?

construction, technology, bionic, bobtrade, materials, supplies, safety, efficiency[Photo Credit: Art Station]

Led by Professor Tilak Dias of Nottingham Trent University’s Art and Design department and developed by research fellow Dr. Theodore Hughes-Riley, bionic gloves have been developed to alert the wearer to overexposure to vibrations.

This is done through the use of microscopic sensors woven in to the fabric.

Use of powerful tools has long been an issue within the construction industry leading to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and vibration white finger.

Dr. Hughes-Riley had this to say in a press release by the university: “By lowering the risk of exposure to dangerous levels of vibrations, we can help improve the lives of thousands of construction workers around the world by helping prevent them developing what can become permanent industrial diseases.”

"By lowering the risk of exposure to dangerous levels of vibrations, we can help improve the lives of thousands of construction workers."

On a perhaps more down to earth end of this bionic construction boom, is the miracle of heated jackets!

construction, technology, bionic, bobtrade, materials, supplies, safety, efficiency[Photo Credit: NYC Shanty]

Powered heater jackets are something anyone would want, let alone on-site workers! From DeWalt to Milwaukee and Ravean, new developments in heated jackets are a must have for any night time and winter construction project team.

Whilst DeWalt and Milwaukee designs are battery powered, and with recent developments, are capable for heating you for up to 8 hours - yes please! The Ravean models work on rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, reducing the number of batteries one might need to purchase.

Heated jackets are not a new thing, but their efficiency is ever increasing. With new developments to allow users to control the heat more effectively as working conditions change.

"New developments allow users to control the heat more effectively as working conditions change."

Moving from the body, to the head.

Smart Cap is a company dedicated to wearable tech improving safety and quality of life.

construction, technology, bionic, bobtrade, materials, supplies, safety, efficiency[Photo Credit: Financial Times]

The Life strap from Smart Cap measures the alertness of the wearer, so, that if fatigue becomes an issue the wearer can be alerted and prevent potential incidents. Working with heavy machinery can be dangerous and tiring! You want to make sure your on-site workers are alert and healthy so they can do a great job and be safe.

This tech could be a literal life saver!

More life saving tech of this nature could be a huge benefit to the industry with regards to safety and efficiency.

Tags: Technology

AUTHOR
Alice-India Garwood

Alice-India Garwood

Content Marketing Executive at Bobtrade. Interested in design, sustainability and the history of construction. I love all things indie and theatrical.