No sweat: Robot construction workers
October 19, 2018
Facing an aging population and a shortage of construction workers (sound familiar?), Japan is experimenting with robot construction workers in residential building.
Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has built a prototype robot that can do simple, repetitive chores, such as stacking or mounting drywall.
The robot in slow but also extremely accurate, suggesting humanoid robots could replace even more complex human jobs on construction sites.
A video of the prototype’s demonstration shows the robot, dubbed HRP-5P, picking up a piece of plasterboard and screwing it into a wall.
On-site construction has resisted easy robotic automation, with human labor still primarily relied upon for the building of houses in place. Automated brick-laying robots and massive 3-D cement printers have already been used, at least in demonstration building projects.
"Along with the declining birthrate and the aging of the population, it is expected that many industries such as the construction industry will fall into serious manual shortages in the future, and it is urgent to solve this problem by robot technology,” according to a statement from AIST.