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Robots in construction

Robots can prevent accidents on construction sites using AI and image recognition.

A US construction business called Suffolk has been working on a system that might be able to anticipate accidents and avoid them before they happen. The system includes cameras that routinely take pictures of ongoing work throughout an active building site and run them through image-recognition software. The AI-based system then analyzes these photos and, using historical data gathered over a decade, compares what it "sees" to how things "should or should not be." When used to monitor a new building site, it can immediately identify circumstances likely to result in an accident, like people not wearing safety gear or working too closely with potentially hazardous machinery.

Similar AI-powered technologies can monitor real-time interactions between personnel, equipment, and other site elements and notify managers or supervisors of construction errors, productivity problems, or intentional disregard for safety procedures. In 2014, Trimble announced a collaboration with Hilti and Boston Dynamics to use robots to increase productivity, uniformity, and safety for regular activities in dangerous settings. Several enterprises have already started deploying "Spot" Robots on their sites which has proven to be a valuable addition to the construction sector.

Construction is one of the most hazardous professions; most accidents are caused by human error. Systems incorporating AI and video-based monitoring can eliminate human mistakes in safety events, benefiting all parties involved. AI and Robots are expected to fundamentally alter the engineering and construction industries in the coming months and years.

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