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June 8, 2018

Smart Construction Objects (SCOs): An alternative way to smart construction
Construction is no exception. Unlike the stereotype that construction is slow in embracing new technologies, the sector is strenuously exploring AI and robotics, with a view to making construction a safer, greener, and a more productive workplace.
     Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of interest in artificial intelligent (AI) and robotics, normally putting under the common nomenclature of “smart construction”. According to Kurzweil et al. (1990), AI is “the art of creating machines that perform functions that require intelligence when performed by people”, while robotics can be perceived as a branch of AI development. As an academic discipline, AI began in the 1950s and has experienced a winding development. Compared to the omnipotent image of AI seen in science fiction, e.g. the Terminator, or the lovely Wall.E, some stunning breakthroughs more relevant to our daily life have been newly achieved. For example, in a 2011 game of Jeopardy, IBM’s Watson supercomputer as AI defeated the game’s two highest ever grossing champions. While in 2017, the AI program AlphaGo defeated the world’s grandmasters of the ancient Chinese game, Go. Many industries from Wall Street trading to manufacturing are examining the threats and opportunities brought by AI and robotics. 
     Construction is no exception. Unlike the stereotype that construction is slow in embracing new technologies, the sector is strenuously exploring AI and robotics, with a view to making construction a safer, greener, and a more productive workplace. Robotic systems have been developed for assisting special on-site construction tasks such as automatic laying of tiles (Westkamper et al. 2000), automatic fabrication of building structures on site (Khoshnevis 2004), and helping workers to handle heavy materials (Lee et al., 2006). Local contractors are reported to be developing robots for curtain wall installation or other oneroustasks. Nevertheless, despite the continuously growing interests in robotics and smart construction, few applicationscan actually reachthe implementation stage, let alone put into daily operationin construction. There is widespread frustration in the industry in respect of AI and robotics applications in construction.
     Read full story by Dr Wilson Lu, The University of Hong Kong … >> Click here




 
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