Construction requires knowledge of engineering and management principles and business procedures, economics, and human behaviour. Construction engineers engage in the design of temporary structures, quality assurance and quality control, building and site layout surveys, on site material testing, concrete mix design, cost estimating, planning and scheduling, safety engineering, materials procurement, and cost engineering and budgeting. In the course of this paper we would like to provide you with a wide spectrum of information relating to how smart materials are used in the construction engineering.
These smart materials basically mean smaller and more efficient tools which can be used to do the same job in far more precise manner. These smaller tools are generally robots which are built capable of doing anything that man can think of creating. This paper will provide you the requirement of transporting faster, building safer and creating wonders for you to be proud of. Keywords: Construction engineering, precise, efficient, robots, materials.
Introduction Executive Summary The main objectives of this report are to highlight the crucial discussion points for the future of Artificial Intelligence, and show how these will determine the nature of risks through using humanoid robots in construction. In this report, humanoid refers to a humanoid robot. This is an autonomous robot, is the form of a human, which can be advantageously deployed to perform tasks in a range of environments. Construction is one of the largest industries in the world, and one which humanoids could greatly benefit.
The limited history of robotics and the rate of progression in technology have emphasized how important it is to consider the risk of tomorrow’s artificial agents today. Looking at the potential of humanoids at present has shown that they could be ideal for use on construction sites. The main needs for humanoids in construction were found to be limited human capabilities, more effective & efficient site operation, and safer working practices. A Brief History of Robots and Humanoid Robots The era of robots, in particular humanoid robots, is in its infancy.
Much of the work that has taken place in this field dates only to the last century, but this has laid vital foundations that can be built upon. Our efforts in understanding a humanoid robot’s behavior and estimating the potential risks associated with its use, have to stem from previous results established by inventors, scientists and theorists. The operation of humanoid robots has yet to happen and the research currently ongoing is progressive, but limited. In addition, it is probable that humanoids will emerge as specialists in certain tasks (similar to automated robots used today), before ones with generic intelligence materialize.
A study of the development of robotics through time will provide an insight into how technology has progressed, and hence better understand the direction that robotics is heading in the future. detailed. Furthermore, the variety of humanoid structures are excessive, and so for the purpose of this introduction, a brief and concise case study will be carried out on arguably the most advanced humanoid today; Asimo, created by Honda. In 1986, Honda set themselves the task of constructing a two-legged humanoid robot that had some abilities similar to that of a human.
Their goal was to ultimately create a partner for people, a new kind of robot that functions in society. What are the needs for Humanoid Robots in construction? In order to discover the needs for humanoids on construction sites, it is necessary to understand how a typical construction site operates. The main flaws in the construction industry will be identified, and robots that are used in the industry today will be examined. Also, inhibitors to the progress of robotics in construction and ways to improve development will be reviewed.
Only then can it be understood where a humanoid could fit in, what tasks it could carry out, and who it would need to communicate with. It is believed that there are needs for humanoids in construction, and by understanding what they are, it will be seen how the construction industry of tomorrow could be a safer and more efficient place. A crucial aspect is to identify where humanoids could fit into the industry. It is clear that when humanoids are first implemented on construction sites, they will take on the role of a construction worker, receiving orders.
Any higher-ranking humanoid is probably a very futuristic scenario, and might not be seen unless they are commanding other humanoids. To begin with, humanoids will most likely be used to assist human construction workers in carrying out simple tasks such as lifting objects. Most importantly, they will need to communicate with other robots or human workers in some way. Perhaps certain workers on site will receive special training to allow them to give orders successfully to a humanoid. How this might occur will be examined later in the report.
Case Study: Honda – The development of Asimo Figure 1 Before undertaking a study on humanoids, a general understanding of a current humanoid’s components and formation is necessary. Understandably, this delves into more of the technological aspect of the humanoid and could be greatly By looking at flaws in the industry, and the challenges that face construction now and in the future, drivers for the acceptance of humanoids can be deduced. If humanoids are a realistic vision for the near future, these drivers for change must be established and understood.
In Britain alone, there are over two million people working in the construction industry, making it the country’s largest employer. In the past 25 years, nearly 3000 people have died and many more injured as a result of construction work. Nowadays, fatalities and serious injuries are much rarer; however, they will inevitably happen which many people regard as unacceptable in this day and age. workers. The reason why it is not focused upon a great deal is because there is no current viable alternative to the problem. Absence from work or sick leave costs the UK economy around ?
1. 75bn a year with back pain being a major cause of time off, so understandably, much loss occurs within the construction industry. Other factors that incur losses include paying for training and holidays. Understandably, if humanoids are used in construction, then far fewer losses would occur. Capital costs for the humanoid units would be high, especially to begin with, but the life-cycle costs might be lower. In many places around the world, shortages of skilled labor are a big problem and humanoids could be implemented to ease this shortage.
Additionally, more and more young people are opting for university educations rather than learning a trade, which is another explanation for the increasing shortage in some areas. It may be argued that humanoids will be used where there is still a good supply of labor, putting people out of work. But the dissemination of these robots is likely to be very slow and their abilities are unlikely to match that of humans for some time after their debut. Therefore, any unemployment due to this is not seen as a major significance, as it will be a natural progression of society and industry.
There are various reasons for accidents occurring, the main one being human error, which will always be present. It is due to nature and cannot be helped that humans have idle tendencies, become tired, will not always stay vigilant, or will oversee errors. As long as humans continue to work on construction sites, accidents will occur. The point being implied here is that humanoids might ease this problem, although it is not as simple as that. Humanoids may also be equally unsafe, if not more than humans, especially in the early stages of use.
To what extent this may be the case is unknown; assessing the risks to try and clarify the situation would appear to be the only responsible course of action. The arguments are complex, and there is an important temporal element. An idea that should be considered is that humanoid use in the future could result in far fewer accidents occurring in the even farther future. However, risks concerning humanoids in their early stages may be plentiful, but it can be hoped that these safety issues will be eliminated with time.
Surely, the prospect of a construction industry involving humanoids with no accidents associated with them is a driver for change. A flaw of the industry today, which may not be immediately obvious, is human labor, and the shortages or unreliability of supply; the Swiss construction sector for example is suffering from a declining number of Labor is the resource that is most critical for progressing in any project and its efficient use must be harnessed in order to achieve project effectiveness.
Building sites are subject to much delay such as obtaining certain work materials, and when work is rescheduled due to this, workers can be left with nothing to do whilst still being paid. Although the limit of human capabilities is not seen as a cause for inefficiency, this is again because there is no current alternative. As well as some of the problems facing construction being potentially reduced by using humanoids, productivity on site could be bolstered. Humanoids could be designed with various attributes for certain tasks; there will no doubt be different ‘breeds’.
They could potentially be faster, stronger and more precise than human beings. With this arise issues of safety, for example if a humanoid has greater strength than a human, this could be a huge risk factor and there may need to be a trade-off, which is focused on later in the report. If ways can be developed of confidently mitigating these risks though, then the prospects are highly desirable. In some ways, the use of humanoids could improve sustainability. For instance, many workers in the construction industry use cars, as work is always changing and often in remote parts.
In the days of humanoids, there could be one delivery to and from site. Certain areas of construction are high risk, such as mining, tunneling, or any type of deep excavation, and humanoids could be employed to reduce risk of harm to human life. That is not to say a humanoid robot will be dispensable, but the value of human life will always be greater than that of a machine. Mining in South Africa is more dangerous than in any other country with over 200 deaths in 2007, an increase from the previous year. Instances like this contribute to the drive for change of attitudes and more towards artificial intelligence.
provides a means of acquiring a good finish to the concrete surface in a third of the time that a team of construction operatives would have taken. The ‘RoadRobot’ is a fully automatic road paver developed by the German company Joseph Vogele AG. It is a masterpiece of automation and was developed to pave roads automatically, improve quality and reduce costs. Not surprisingly, the RoadRobot is the most expensive among Vogele road pavers, but certainly the most impressive. Regular pavers certainly have automation of individual functions but this will not satisfy future needs.
By linking all of the operating functions to form an overall automatic system, the human operator can direct their skills to fewer jobs such as monitoring output to ensure highest quality is being maintained. A Surface Preparation system nicknamed ‘BIBER’, developed by a partnership of companies, is an ingenious way of automatically removing, preparing or restoring surfaces, including wall facades, ships and tanks. It was developed as a major labor saving device and a way of improving quality and lowering costs. The system comprises a tool head, telescoping lifting unit and a vacuum cleaner.
The innovative tool head allows removal of rough or old coating and scrubbing of large areas. The telescopic lifting arm can reach up to 60 meters, saving costs of scaffolding, which would have been otherwise used, and the vacuum picks up the loosened particles that are contained and the air is then filtered. Inhibitors to Progress and Recommendations The development of robotics in construction is more difficult than in other industries for a number of reasons. The industry is extremely diverse and one that has to cope with a unique set of circumstances on each site.
The seemingly unorganized nature of work, temporary works, and weather issues are some of the main contributors to the barrier against robotics in construction. There is also much investment needed. That said, progress has been made and if continued, civil engineering will see more autonomous machines replacing humans Automation in construction now Various automated robots used today have been examined in order to understand the current state of the technology and how we are heading towards a future where AI will be a significant feature.
Automated robots in construction must control their own performance in carrying out sequences of operations. Due to the nature of a construction site, prone to variation much unlike a well-ordered factory, they must be highly suited to their purpose. For this reason the robots found in construction at present will only carry out very specific tasks. The Shimizu Corporation in Japan have developed prototypes and working construction robots including a concrete power-floating machine and a wall climbing painting robot.
The concrete power-floating machine is a good example of how productivity of the human task it performs can be raised. Used regularly in Japan, it where safety and efficiency are paramount. These issues are likely to become even greater driving forces as time progresses. In more general terms, one of the greatest inhibitors to progress is the lack of advancement in AI. It is a huge challenge to develop a humanoid to see and hear, and all the other senses that it needs to possess in order to work with humans. An important concept will be the issue of checking how much information a humanoid is processing and what it will do.
If it is unable to process certain information, or data is handled incorrectly, the humanoid could cease the task or carry out the wrong function; this may be a risk to itself and others on the construction site. Giving the power of thought to a machine can be a very dangerous thing, so human control must always be established. In order to reach a future where humanoids work in construction, the problems facing automation in general in the industry should be tackled. One of the greatest inhibitors to the introduction of robotics is the lack of integration between design and production.
By separating these processes, designs will not take account of constructability issues, therefore not catering for the needs of automation. A more logical approach to these processes is required if the benefits of robotics are to be fully realized. Construction companies can make a huge difference by developing strategies for embarking on R&D programmes. They should form alliances with other relevant players in the construction process. It could prove advantageous to focus on designers and engineering firms with the ability to innovate.
Clients and customers are also able to contribute by encouraging innovative uses of technology. Artificially Intelligent Behavior Introduction to AI Behavior Prior to analyzing any form of risk that a humanoid robot of the future could cause on a construction site, it is vital to have a fundamental understanding of cognitive psychology and the mental processes that determine its behavior. These mental processes are based on those operating in the human brain, such as sensation, perception, problem solving, attention, communication and memory.
By analyzing these, important design issues and limitations will begin to surface. Focus will be given to the possible ways a humanoid could work on a construction site, and a functional analysis will be carried out in order to help define what tasks will be necessary. The specific concrete scenarios will help to further identify possible limitations. Psychology of Artificial Intelligence: How a humanoid might behave Cognitive Psychology Cognitive Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes of behavior.
It is being studied here to help to understand the limitations of a humanoid’s capabilities. This section will highlight the relevant principles of mental processes, how they relate to humanoids, and what potential limitations could arise as a result. Information Processing Information processing is based on mental processes that acquire, interpret and transform mental representations, from perception to memory. Input is registered through the appropriate sensors and transferred to a short-term store where decisions occur and a response is the outcome.
As humans, we also transfer information from a short-term memory store to a long term, or permanent memory store, shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 Humanoids will also need a memory in order to recognize objects and perform tasks. The question that arises is, will a humanoid be able to create its own memory by processing information in the same way as a human, or will it merely manipulate information? Sensation and Perception Sensation is the detection of simple properties such as brightness, color, hardness or loudness.
Perception is the interpretation of these sensory signals that facilitates object recognition and the identification of properties such as size and location. The distinction between sensory signals may not be entirely clear; properties that can be directly sensed may be rather complex. This could cause huge repercussions in the case of humanoids. The essential requirement for their sensory system is a network mechanism for translating stimulus energy into electrical signals and a means of differentiating between stimulus qualities.
Perceptual information makes contact with meaning, for example, recognizing objects and faces, and reading and comprehending words. In order to identify the sensorial input, a humanoid will need to match this up with its stored memory bank. For coherent cooperation with human workers, designers should aim to match the efficiency and response time of around 200ms that humans are capable of. This is a difficult task due to the extreme variability that exists in the sensory input.
Recognition In the film The Terminator , the humanoid robot is fitted with a camera like device, which presents annotated output to an internal control post; this annotation relates to the concept of a ‘homunculus’, which is used to illustrate the functioning of a system, and can be viewed as an entity or agent. An example of this is illustrated in Figure 3. Figure 3 The human brain can interpret images of very unfamiliar objects. It may not be able to recognize or name the object, but it can describe it in detail; shape, surface-texture, orientation, size, position, and color.
Computer vision programs for humanoids in construction ought to be able to do the same sort of thing if they are to be truly useful in the future. Attention A humanoid will be able to sense a large amount of information at any one time, but selectivity is required to keep this information to a manageable size. It would therefore need the attribute of attention in order to behave successfully on site, which would filter out most irrelevant information. Possible application and issues regarding humanoids for construction tasks On outdoor construction sites, not every worker needs to be an expert in the job they are carrying out.
It is possible for many tasks to be carried out by one expert and one novice. It is realistic for the applicable tasks to be carried out by a novice humanoid partner of an expert human, perhaps even many humanoids for bigger tasks. This could be a viable option for countries where labor forces are shrinking and societies are aging such as China and Japan, where much of the associated research and testing is carried out. Control Arguably the most important factor with regards to risk within this project of humanoid robots on construction sites is control.
Control is the ability to have a dominating influence over something else; to regulate, manage and direct something. Control is vital on a variety of levels. In order to direct a command to a humanoid, substantial control is needed to make sure that this command is carried out. However, for more serious purposes, control is needed to restrain the humanoid from acting in a way which it must not. Risks from this can cause wasted time and resources, but on a more serious note, can lead to human injury which could range from minor harm to loss of life.
? Human Resources – Due to the limited capability of the humanoid, many of the tasks require an excessive amount of human assistance. ? ? Material/Humanoid damage – Taking into account human commonsense and limited humanoid capability, if a malfunction occurred it was estimated more likely to cause damage to itself and/or materials it was working with. Conclusion This paper has involved an understanding of a number of fields that were not originally anticipated, but were required in order to formulate a thorough risk assessment of humanoid robots in construction.
The investigation of humanoid behavior and artificial intelligence involved research into engineering, psychology, philosophy, sociology, ethics and IT. Preparing a risk assessment for the unknown future, of an entity not yet developed, meant that simply using an engineering approach was not enough. By carrying out a risk assessment of humanoids which exhibit weak AI, one fundamental issue became apparent. An initial belief that the majority of risks would implicate harm to human life was disputed. It was uncovered that most of the risks were concerned with three main areas: ? ? ?
Time – Many of the risks were concluded to result in a delay of the task being carried out. This was either through the humanoid not being able to perform the task, the task being carried out slowly, or the task being completed poorly. ? The significance of these consequences are still high because they result in losses for the construction industry with regard to productivity and cost. On the other hand, risks to humans are nonetheless present, and without significant humanoid development by designers, the introduction of weak AI humanoids to construction sites cannot be a realistic idea.
If the harmful abilities of a humanoid are restricted in order to greatly reduce the risks to humans, then their benefits on site could reduce. In order to trade-off humanoid capabilities for human safety, designers need to devise ways of enforcing sufficient control for this level of intelligence, whilst keeping their appropriate abilities. References 1. 2. ASCE – Journal of Construction Engineering & Management Elsevier Advanced Engineering Informatics