• Could Robotic System Integration be the Construction Industry’s Future?

    Think robots have no place in the down and dirty, hands-on world of new construction? Think again. A New York-based company has found a way to meld robotic system integration with an everyday task for builders: Bricklaying.

    SAM (an acronym for “semi-automated mason”) aids its human counterparts with various elements of the bricklaying process. While human construction workers are still responsible for the more intricate tasks each project entails, the MIT Technology Review reports that SAM can pick up bricks, apply mortar and put them down where they need to be. Though the undertakings might seem simple enough, a certain amount of flexibility is required to ensure SAM works safely among construction crew members — and doesn’t damage the build. In other words, it’s high-tech stuff.

    Is it time to start worrying about innovations like SAM setting out to take human jobs? Construction Robotics’ Scott Peters told the Technology Review the simple answer is no. Instead of replacing existing workers, the system aims to work with teams to improve productivity. For instance, while the average person can lay 300 to 500 bricks per day, SAM can churn out 800 to 1,200.