How will robots change construction?

The construction industry has traditionally been a sector which relied heavily on manual labour and heavy machinery. There was never any finesse about it and with every building project being unique, it has been notoriously difficult to automate many of the processes. But with significant advances in technology in all aspects of our life, it was inevitable that the construction sector would move with the times at some point. Let’s take a look at how robots and technology are set to change the construction industry?

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What types of robots and technology can construction business use?

One type of robot set to make huge impact on the industry will be used for demolition jobs. Although they might still be slightly slower to complete jobs than humans using heavy machinery, they will bring an increase in the safety to this notoriously hazardous process.

3D printing has become popular in many industries and its now set to assist the construction sector too. This process of creating objects or buildings layer by layer, allows companies to create structurally safe and technically accurate buildings time after time.

Similar to 3D printing in any other sector, the robotic parts of the process require some technology behind them which create the correct instructions for the robot to follow. In the construction industry, it is called BIM technology.

BIM, or Building Information Modelling to give it its full name, is the process of designing buildings in a collaborative fashion, in one piece of software, rather than having lots of separate technical drawings. In the UK, companies such as provide a range of BIM services and consultation to the construction sector.

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What are the commercial benefits?

The UK has been an early adopter of BIM technology and, according to the government, this has led to the nation being recognised as a leader across the globe. This has meant that UK construction firms have been far more successful when bidding for international tenders.

For construction firms themselves, they can gain a far greater level of control over projects using this type of technology. Waste is reduced and costly errors minimised, making projects more profitable too. Finally, the simple fact that automation is so new to this sector will ensure that it has a huge impact, as it has in other sectors previously, such as car manufacturing.