Self-driving cars might be grabbing all the headlines, for good and bad reasons. But autonomous vehicles and robots, in general, are disrupting other major industries. From farming to construction, robots are doing the heavy lifting along with increasingly refined tasks to help speed up production.
Check out Built Robotics‘ building robot in the video below, digging and leveling ground for construction projects. The company plans many more products to help in construction, using similar technology to self-driving cars to help navigate the busy and crowded environment of a site. They call them autonomous track loader or ATL in short.
Can robots build it? Yes, they can!
Combine that with a home that can be 3D-printed by robotic builders and you have a way to create new properties 24-hours a day, ideal for areas of high demand, or to help rebuild towns or streets after disasters. Instead of having to ship in large numbers of workers, with little infrastructure to support them, efficient bots could be delivered to start work straight away with a steady supply of resources and an overseer crew.
Less people around a building site also removes some of the risks, with construction still one of the most dangerous careers. For more traditional buildings, Construction Robotics offers a robotic bricklayer, SAM100 that can take the heavy work out of the task and leave the mason to ensure the wall is well-built while helping speed up the job. Its bigger brother, MULE, can lift 135 lbs of material and place it accurately, across any construction application.
Robots on Mars
While robots will slowly make a dent in the massive global construction industry, the one place they will be in total charge is off the planet. When it comes to the Moon or Mars, whenever mankind first sets up camp, beyond the prefab huts as seen in The Martian, robots will likely build homes and facilities out of local regolith to provide shelter for the first occupants. Drones being the true pioneers of Mars can also be seen in the recently launched video game Surviving Mars.
Sent up months or years ahead of humans, they will have to do the job right, making airtight structures, so while Elon Musk might be all excited about Hyperloop and his rocket fleet right now, expect him to take an interest in robot construction very soon.
Take a read of Andy Weir’s latest book Artemis for a science-likely look at how moon bases of the future will be constructed. So, consider the growth of these robots just the first step into helping our gangling species set up home off-planet.
These and other robots are playing a crucial part in keeping the global markets moving, but where will they help take us next?
Photo credit: Built Robotics