Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

The Future of Self-Driving Construction Equipment

The global self-driving vehicle market is expected to reach $1 million this year, with a projected growth rate of $1.6 million by 2025, according to Allied Research Market.

We have seen driverless shuttles being utilized in exhibition areas, logistics, and even in transporting goods.

In the construction industry, the development of on-site equipment is incorporating robotics and AI technology to make them more efficient when used on construction sites.

Self-Actuating Excavators

Built Robotics does not make construction equipment, but they are focused on creating control systems or heavy machines and excavators like skid steers.

Skid steers are used for excavations and must be equipped with quality skid steer tracks to gain plenty of traction on the ground.

To make them autonomous, Built Robotics has installed a software that will actuate the equipment based on the data gathered through the numerous sensors installed on the equipment.

The program will then actuate the machine accordingly.

Geofencing Features

Self-driving construction equipment which are automated by Built Robotics also comes with geo-fencing.

This program is designed to prevent the excavator from moving beyond the construction site.

The machine itself will be equipped with LiDAR and cameras that can distinguish obstacles and people to inform the equipment to move in a different direction to avoid possible collisions.

This is a useful feature for self-driving machines as it reduces safety hazards in a construction site.

Autonomous Control System

A small tech company in Pennsylvania has created an autonomous control system where traditional construction equipment acts as the leader for self-driving equipment.

The operator will be in the lead with their machine equipped with sensors that are being read by the rest of the fleet which they will follow around the construction site.

This can be promising in the construction industry where excavators and dozers can follow a lead machine as they work on a construction site, especially when doing repetitive work.

Safety Protocols

Safety is a priority in a construction site which is why it is also a point of concern in self-driving construction equipment.

Tech companies, like Built Robotics, are using an array of sensors, cameras, and alarms that will read the environment and send out alerts when a collision is imminent.

It is possible that the program will instruct the vehicle to stop until the obstacle is removed.

Another point of concern in self-driving construction equipment is the risk of being hacked. This is because of the autonomous control system that they are equipped with.

To reduce the risk of the system being hijacked by outsiders, stringent security measures need to be put in place.

Self-driving construction equipment is a great addition to any construction site, especially when there is a lack of manpower to operate heavy machinery.

Using AI technology and robotics, such as digging and excavating lands without a human driving the cab, construction projects can be done quickly.

Aside from that, safety in the construction site will be heightened since these autonomous vehicles are equipped with sensors and cameras that can determine if there are obstacles or workers on its path to avoid.

Main picture by Vladimir Patkachakov on Unsplash

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