Automating Construction: Improving On-Site Logistics through Robotics and Data Analytics
KEWAZO works to improve on-site construction logistics through robotics and data analytics. Their first automation objective is to equip customers with the tools for safe, fast and smart material transportation on construction sites. CEO and co-founder Artem Kuchukov describes how KEWAZO grew the idea from concept to working prototype with new customers eager to implement innovative hardware on site.
How did you come up with the idea for KEWAZO and what is your core product?
We studied opportunities for automation in construction. For example, Japanese companies in the 1960s and ‘70s tried to create fully automated construction sites with so called “on-site factories”. These projects failed because they were too ambitious—they tried to do too much at the same time.
Several Japanese companies then tried to automate single activities on site instead, such as painting. Painting for instance requires a far simpler approach compared to the automation of a whole construction site. As expected, focusing on single aspect of the construction process was more successful. We learned that this approach still holds true today. It is better to concentrate on single topics of significantly lower complexity compared to full job sites, but the single topics should still be somewhat challenging in terms of automation.
The problem on construction sites is that you need to account for a lot of human creativity in the moment. Robots are moving in pre-programmed ways, which is hard on a messy construction site. When thinking about using robots on construction sites today, there needs to be some sort of structure in which, or upon which, the robot would move.
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