From an article in Building Design and Construction by John Caulfield.
Swinerton, the national construction services provider, is among the GCs that are embracing construction technology in various ways.
It is using high-definition 3D scanning technology to provide clients with such benefits as time-stamping work with preserved historical data, minimizing client travel thanks to remote walk-through capabilities, and coordinating subcontractors with an eye toward minimizing change orders and errors.
The firm’s prefab and modular construction capabilities leverage technology to reduce construction costs by as much as 20% per project, improve quality and safety, and expedite a project’s completion.
And on a number of its jobsites, Swinerton has been testing Boston Dynamics’ quadruped robot, better known as Spot Dog, for walk-throughs to inspect progress (such as tracking the numbers of studs or electrical conduit installed daily), measure and report data points, create a digital twin, and compare as-built to BIM.
The three-foot-tall yellow robot “is an incredibly capable machine,” says Eric Law, Swinerton’s senior director of technology and innovation, whom BD+C interviewed last week with Tristen Magallanes, the firm’s innovation analyst; and Brian Ringley, a construction technology manager with Boston Dynamics.
Swinerton has been testing Spot Dog for four months. It used the robot to track the interior work within a ground-up medical office building in Redwood City, Calif. (That robot has since been relocated to one of Swinerton’s other projects in Austin, Texas.) The robot was also at work at the Queen Emma Building in Honolulu, Hawaii, where Swinerton is reconstructing an office building to affordable apartments.
The robot in use in Honolulu, which can handle a payload of up to 30 lbs., was equipped with a laser scanner and 360-degree camera. The robot, explains Ringley, can be controlled directly or tele-operated from offsite. There’s also an “auto-walk” feature where the user takes the robot to where he or she wants it to go, and artificial intelligence lets the robot repeats that pattern and tasks.
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