Robot dogs making construction sites smarter
Friday 3 Feb 2023
“We are currently utilizing robot dogs with 3-D scanners as well as augmented reality (AR) technology for the construction project in Seoul Station,” said Hanwha E&C CEO Kim Seung-mo.
The multi-complex construction project is a large scale innovation intended to transform unused railroad sites in the northern part of Seoul Station into a dynamic area with countless facilities such as commercial and cultural complexes. This scheme is worth approximately 2 trillion won ($1.4 billion) and is expected to become the COEX of northern Seoul.
One of the smart construction technology systems being used at the site is a robot dog that walks on four legs. This smart device assists workers by accumulating and processing required data via a 3-D scanner. The robot is also able to scan places that might be too dangerous for human workers. Hanhwa E&C demonstrated its smart technology at the construction site late last year.
The company equipped Boston Dynamics’ robot Spot with Trimble’s X7, a 3-D laser scanner model, allowing the robot to calculate elevation levels and the volume of earth in the terrain. Hanhwa E&C plans to utilize the figures when displacing nearby buildings during construction.
“The inventive technique removes the burden of workers who have to physically move around 3-D scanners and tripods in harsh weather conditions,” said a Hanhwa E&C official. “There existed many practice tests using robot dogs, but this is our first practical deployment on an actual construction site, which adds to the project’s significance.”
Hanhwa E&C additionally displayed its AR technology based on a global navigation satellite system in the demonstration. Workers identified the site by observing the building information modelling (BIM), a virtual imitation of the actual area. With a simple tap on their cell phones, workers could assess the terrain boundaries, view the blueprints and establish construction plans.
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