New construction technologies for robotic dog

By Andy Brown22 October 2020

Trimble and Boston Dynamics have announced a strategic alliance to integrate a variety of construction data collection technologies with Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot platform.

Spot robot

The robotic ‘dog’ is used for surveying a construction site and monitoring progress. Artificial Intelligence is then used to process the data, so that the site’s progress can be tracked to give project managers a clear picture of jobsite progress on an ongoing basis.

“Robots will play a crucial role in automated construction workflows and can augment the human workforce by handling dirty, dull and dangerous tasks,” said Martin Holmgren, general manager, building field solutions at Trimble.

The jointly-developed solution will combine Spot’s autonomous mobility with Trimble’s data collection sensors and field control software to enable automation of repetitive tasks such as site scans, surveying and progress monitoring.

Mortenson, a US builder, developer and engineering services provider, has been piloting Spot robots with Trimble’s SPS986 GNSS solutions to autonomously navigate challenging exterior construction environments such as solar farms to continuously document existing site conditions.

An automated and repeatable approach to field data capture can provide Mortenson with real-time awareness of project status, helping to accelerate project delivery.

Trimble’s Holmgrem adds that, “Our experience with early adopters like Mortenson gave us visibility into the transformative potential of an integrated solution that seamlessly marries a world-class robot with construction-specific sensors and workflows. We’re excited about this alliance and the potential to bring unprecedented improvements in safety, quality and productivity to our construction customers.”

The relationship gives Trimble exclusivity to sell and support the Spot robot with integrated scanning, total station and GNSS technologies for the construction market. The integrated solution is expected to be available by the second quarter 2021.

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