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The Future of Construction Robotics & Automation

Submitted by webmaster on Tue, 04/27/2021 - 13:52

Talking to Boston Dynamics' Brian Ringley About the Future of Construction Robotics & Automation - Constructible


114: Canine Robots for Construction with Brian Ringley, Boston Dynamics

(1:02:31) Video by - Business of Architecture

Meet one of the most important people working in construction robotics today. Brian Ringley, Construction Technology Manager at Boston Dynamics, talks with Constructible about Spot's current and future use cases, how innovative contractors use Spot today, 'digital twin starter sets', what construction bots might look like in 2040, upskilling for an automated future, and more.

Tell us a bit about your background in construction and automation.

I graduated in the recession and could not get a professional job in architecture, so I ended up working in digital fabrication labs, on a design technology team, teaching in academia, and picking up a lot of technology skills along the way.

While I was a construction automation researcher at WeWork, we asked our superintendents and assistant supers, "If we could automate one thing you did to make your life easier, what would you like us to work on?" They said, "Please do my daily photo documentation or job walk."

During this work, we found drones to be unfeasible for interior commercial construction spaces in terms of battery life, payload capacity, and operational safety. We tried wheeled and tracked robots, both those that we developed ourselves with kits, and ones that were available on the market. Ultimately, there was no method of wheeled or tracked locomotion that could get everywhere on the site that we needed it to get.

In 2018, Boston Dynamics released a video of Spot on their Japanese customer construction sites and I said, "We've really got to try this." We became Spot early adopters and were able to get the robots on our sites, and demonstrate that they could get anywhere in the environment. It could autonomously trigger 360 image capture and it could do it . . .Read More