Robotics in the construction industry


Drones and robots are increasingly becoming a reality in the construction industry. These automated helpers are no longer just used to measure buildings or inspect wind turbines and bridges for damage, but are increasingly being used for the actual construction of buildings. Robotics and machine work have long been standard in component production. The individual parts are manufactured on production lines in factories and then assembled at the construction site in just a few hours.

In the future, however, particularly dangerous or extremely stressful work for humans, such as working at great heights or with heavy loads, could be made safer and easier by robots. Examples of this include scaffolding robots that bring heavy parts to the intended location or façade robots that fit windows to buildings. Various research institutes are already working on corresponding prototypes. Other solutions are already in use, such as the Schindler R.I.S.E., the world’s first assembly system that can carry out its assembly work autonomously in elevator shafts.

The focus of developers is increasingly shifting from the purely supportive functions of robots to enabling the automated construction of complete buildings and infrastructure. The first market-ready concepts are already in use, such as the Hadrian X construction robot, which takes over the construction of walls in 2,000 to 5,000 houses in Mexico, or the first projects in which a bridge was built using a 3D printer.

It remains exciting to see where the journey will take us and how quickly the transformation in the construction industry will take concrete shape. This much is clear: the world of work will change significantly. The construction worker of tomorrow will no longer be laying “brick on brick”, but will be carrying out programming and control activities.

Yvonne Jacoby, Market Intelligence Senior Expert