Robotics in Construction: Applications and Benefits

Robotics in Construction: Applications and Benefits

Robotic arms have long been a part of the manufacturing industry, while drones for surveillance and fumigation are common to see in agriculture nowadays. However, the advances made in robotic engineering are prevalent in a much broader capacity than what most of us realize. From a business perspective, that’s good news for construction and real estate as well. The right implementation of automated machines can reduce expenses, accidents, and errors down to almost zero. A look through the various applications of robotics in construction should provide us with a better idea.


Fully automated vehicles for consumer usage might still be far off, but that’s not quite how it is in the commercial sector. Granted that we do not see large, unmanned vehicles hauling construction materials, concrete mixes, and debris on busy roads, but the technology is both available and in use.

For now, automated construction vehicles have a legal limit on where they are allowed to travel and how far, but the progress made is impressive even with strict limits. These vehicles can travel through locations that would be considered dangerous for a manned vehicle, and they can work through all hours of the day and night. As is to be expected, that decreases both the chances of accidents and the labor costs.


Digging is a more dangerous task for mining operations, but that does not take away anything from the potentially mortal dangers of moving earth before a major construction project can even begin. Automated excavators, backhoe loaders, and most interestingly, skid-steer loaders have made the entire act of laying a building’s foundation much safer than before. The entire task can be monitored and completed by a remote operator, but there is more to it.

The operator will be guided constantly by the specialized AI that’s working in perfect synchronization with the robotic vehicle and its numerous built-in sensors. All automated industrial grade excavation and construction equipment use the same server motor brakes that are used in self-driving vehicles to stop at a moment’s notice if their sensors detect an unintended obstacle is in their path. Even if the operator makes a mistake, the chances of the AI failing are much lower.


Geo surveillance in construction has several utilities and almost all of them have been either partially or completely automated with robots. Surveillance drones not only help in identifying potential locations for development, but they also help in mapping the area and its nearby locations.

It is not all about air surveillance either. For example, we have the smaller, ground robots on wheels that are equipped to gather outdoor environmental information and indoor architectural data in and around present or potential construction sites. Military usage for very similar ground vehicles is also prevalent since 2018.

Although smart automation is very much a part of robotics, it should not be mistaken as such. The AI that powers automation through software acts as the brain driving the engineered mechanical parts that we generally call robots. In the absence of compatible mechanical parts/robots/vehicles, smart AI is just automation software. In fields such as construction where both software and hardware resources play distinct roles, that differentiation must be understood and acknowledged.

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