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The future of robots in the building materials sector

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

Robotics and automation are increasingly being used throughout the building materials sector, and one area in which they will be exploited over the coming years is site labouring. 

Take Spot for example.  In what’s being billed as a world first Spot, a fully-automated, battery-operated moving robot, is being tested by Canadian building materials company Pomerleau on one of its worksites near Montreal. 

The ‘dog-like’ Spot will have six months to prove its worth, or its back to the pound.

Spot has a 360o HD camera attached onto its back which is linked to a system called HoloBuilder.

No, not a spanish odd-job man, but, a documentation platform that allows comparisons with virtual design and building materials software, enabling a full site view from a remote connection. The photographs will then be used to track the project's progress and adherence to budget, schedule and quality standards.

Spot is equipped with autonomous tracking systems that enable it to identify and avoid obstacles and people, pick itself up after a fall, move in any direction, and quickly change directions. Just let's hope it doesn’t spot a squirrel. 

Makers Boston Dynamics said its tracking systems make it the perfect tool to explore confined, or dangerous areas – a new way to increase safety for workers.

"This initiative is in line with Pomerleau's mission of identifying, leveraging, and championing innovation. Our industry is undergoing a profound transformation," said Ian Kirouac, Head of Transformation at Pomerleau. "We foresee robotics playing a large role in it.”

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