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article imageHumans will disappear from building sites by 2050

By Tim Sandle     Jul 8, 2017 in Technology
Most builders could disappear from building sites by 2050 according to a new industry survey. Already robotic bricklayers are being tested out, and to good effect.
International construction firm Balfour Beatty has predicted that by 2050 few humans will be working on building sites. Instead there will be an army of “automated builders”, and robotic cranes and diggers will carrying out the work instead. The approach to building will also change. In place of the building being put up, from the first brick or piece of steel or timber, in location, the trend will be towards most of the framework being made in factories and moved into position as required.
This analysis has been made by Balfour Beatty to The Daily Mirror. A spokesperson for the company told the news outlet: "Consider the complex tasks performed by robots in a modern factory and it is not so hard to imagine such a future for the construction site.”
READ MORE: Technologists calculate how many jobs will be lost to robots
The spokesperson adds: “Increasing use of robots and automation will mean that the industry becomes more productive, creating new roles for skilled workers in cutting edge areas, while reducing the need for those undertaking repetitive, manual tasks, such as bricklaying.”
With robotic bricklaying, a U.S. company called Construction Robotics has already developed a robot called SAM (Semi-Automated Mason), which can lay 3,000 bricks a day:
The bricklaying robot builds walls six times faster than a human bricklayer. Australian company Fastbrick Robotics has also developed a proof of concept for a commercial bricklaying machine called Hadrian X.
As for the people left working on construction sites, these workers will most likely be fitted with bionic “exoskeletons” that control robots as the workers move their arms and legs. These initiatives are good for building firms, and will lower safety risks; the news is less good, however, for future employment.
More about Building, Builders, bricklayers, Robots, Robotics
 
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