Technology is solving problems
How AI is impacting on construction projects
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a way in which machines that exhibit their own intelligence through algorithms solve problems using inputted data, and by harnessing robotics, construction managers can utilise intelligent machines that can perform routine tasks that were once completed by humans, such as bricklaying.
Alternatively, AI systems can collate and organise information for engineers to use within project planning and design implementation.
The construction industry is starting to use AI in order to complete projects that contain fewer errors and omissions, safer working practices, improved workflows, and more on-time worksite completions.
There are many ways that we can use artificial intelligence within the construction sector, but which areas of the project are most effective? There are four stages to the construction timeline, but where can artificial intelligence be used to its full capacity? We’ve teamed up with Oasys, specialists in structure analysis software, to find out…
Developing a plan
The planning part of the timeline is the most important — and artificial intelligence can be used here. Autonomous equipment is considered as AI as it is aware of its surroundings and is capable of navigation without human input. In the planning stages, AI machinery can survey a proposed construction site and gather enough information to create 3D maps, blueprints and construction plans.
Previously, this was a task that was completed by manual workers, taking a longer time period — using AI will ensure that it is a much quicker and efficient process. This helps to save firms both time and money in the form of labour.
The use of artificial intelligence on a construction project can understand any changes within the plan, and has the settings to adopt appropriate behavioural patterns to manage the overall operations. For example, workers can input sick days, vacancies and sudden departures into a data system and it will adapt the project accordingly. The AI will understand that the task must be moved to another employee and will do so of its own accord.
When engineers are working, artificial intelligence has the ability to assist. For example, if engineers were working on a proposed new bridge, AI systems would be able to advise and present a case for how the bridge should be constructed.
This is based on past projects over the last 50 years, as well as verifying pre-existing blueprints for the design and implementation stages of the project. By having this information to hand, engineers can make crucial decisions based on evidence that they may not have previously had at their disposal.
Workers usually have to work at great heights on a construction site, but with autonomous technology being introduced, workers can do their jobs with their feet firmly on the ground. Using sensors and GPS, the AI vehicle can calculate the safest route.
Ending a project
It’s thought that artificial intelligence is only used in the building process in a construction project — but this can be used from within. In the US alone, $1.5 billion was invested in 2016 by companies looking to capitalise on this growing market.
With a pledge to put an Amazon Echo in every room of its Las Vegas hotel, Wynn Hotel is already trialling it— making it more advanced in terms of customer experience than its competitors.
These devices can be used for aspects of the room such as lighting, temperature and any audio-visual equipment contained in the room. These systems can also be used within domestic settings, allowing homeowners to control aspects of their home through voice commands and systems that control all electronic components from one device.
Keeping information safely
If you need to access information regarding the construction of your project, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a great asset to have. From the start of the project, to the day your building gets demolished, all notes will be stored securely — including managers’ decisions throughout the build.
Virtual assistants (VA) can also be used to start up a conversation, as well as provide any needed information. By combining VAs alongside NFC (near-field communication), VAs can be given additional information to the building itself in real-time from various sensors in the building. For example, if there were structural problems with a building, then VAs could inform engineers specifically where the problem was and how it can be fixed.
Virtual assistants are a cheaper way of doing the job and can do it more effectively! As the future of AI becomes more of a reality within construction, only time will tell how reliant upon intelligent machines we will have to be in order to construct innovative building designs.
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