Construction Industry AI: Disruption or Revolutionary?August 24, 2017
When the makers of the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology brand their creations as revolutionary, what exactly does that mean? Is it just a slick marketing campaign to sell a product? Will AI prove invaluable as it is poised to transform the construction industry? Or, are contractors about to experience disruption that might be troublesome on a good day, catastrophic in a worse-case-scenario? Focusing on efficiency and safety is the key to avoiding disruption. Instead, a company enjoys beneficial revolution when using the right kind of artificial intelligence in the construction industry. Here are 3 new technologies every contractor joining the AI revolution must have:
Autonomous Equipment: Autonomous equipment, the official terminology for the more common term robot, is what most people imagine when AI is mentioned. Autonomous equipment covers an array of AI like drones, self-driving vehicles, and assembly machinery. One particular class that is often overlooked could possibly prove to be the most valuable: autonomous safety equipment. Here are some of the latest AI developments that keep crews safer:
1. Smart Vests:
Equipped with LED lights, sensors, GPS tracking, health-monitoring system, short-range communication, speakers and vibrating notification, this smart vest technology is something to get excited about. Workers are alerted the moment danger is detected such as: detecting a moving vehicle when proximity is too close, or a worker who is becoming dangerously overheated. It is easy for workers and crew managers to stay on top of everyone’s safety when connected by an app to any smart device.
2. Smart Hard Hats:
A hard hat is a mandatory piece of safety equipment. Now they are going high-tech and becoming nothing short of amazing. Smart hard hats might look like something an astronaut would wear with transparent visors, custom lenses, 4D augmented reality capability and LED halo lighting. However, these are definitely crafted for the terrestrial worker.
Brow level sensors can track and align tasks while recognizing potential hazards. When a threat is detected, the hard hat doesn’t just warn the worker. It also offers instructions on adjustments so the task can be completed safely.
Augmented reality doesn’t just improve safety, it also raises productivity levels. Being able to access blueprints and email means a worker doesn’t have to disrupt workflow to tap into the latest project developments. Instead of having to stop work to ask a question, he can use a virtual gateway to access information and images.
What’s the point of the halo lighting? It allows the wearer to see in every direction – but it goes further. Quite literally, it ranges a quarter of a mile further, enabling wearers to see motorists that far away. This AI visibility enhancement improves safety and saves lives.
3. Smart Gloves:
How smart does the human fingertip need to be to improve the safety of working conditions? If workers are wearing safety equipment linked to smart devices, then quick access to smartphone data is a necessity. This is the principle behind the development of technology friendly gloves. Fingertips of work gloves can be upgraded with a solution designed to transform the fabric into a smart fabric that mimics human skin. Workers do not have to waste valuable seconds to remove a glove in order to tap a touchscreen and access information that might save a life.
AI continues to be tested and used throughout the construction industry. For those who worry how disruptive transition might be, the best place to start with the AI revolution might be with safety equipment. After all, what could be more disruptive to a work zone than an accident? For more information on how to work safer and smarter with AI, consult with industry experts committed to leadership.