Autonomous Legged Robots for Construction Under Development

By Mike Ball / 21 Oct 2020

Boston Dynamics and Trimble construction robot

Trimble and Boston Dynamics have partnered to create a new robotic data collection solution for the construction industry, based on Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot platform. The autonomous platform will integrate Trimble’s data collection sensors and field control software, allowing construction professionals to automate repetitive tasks such as site scans, surveying and progress monitoring while taking advantage of the robot’s unique capabilities to navigate dynamic and potentially unsafe environments.

The new solution will provide streamlined operation of the robotic platform and provide quality control for construction project managers, allowing them to easily get a clear picture of jobsite progress on an ongoing basis. Trimble’s integrated technologies will provide accurate, scalable and rapid data collection, and the company’s construction collaboration platforms will enable a continuous flow of information between field and office. Trimble and partners will also provide customers with local support and service.

Mortenson, a U.S.-based building and engineering services provider, is one of the first companies to take advantage of this new technology through Trimble’s Early Experience Program, which provides advanced access to allow evaluation of its suitability in actual construction projects. Mortenson has a strong history of Lean innovation and project technology expertise, and has already begun operating Spot robots integrated with Trimble’s SPS986 GNSS solutions to autonomously navigate challenging exterior construction environments such as solar farms, in order to continuously document existing site conditions and increase efficiency. The new system will provide Mortenson with an automated and repeatable approach to field data capture, as well as real-time awareness of project status and accelerated project delivery.

Martin Holmgren, general manager of Building Field Solutions at Trimble, commented: “Robots will play a crucial role in automated construction workflows and can augment the human workforce by handling dirty, dull and dangerous tasks. 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.”

Michael Perry, vice president of business development at Boston Dynamics, stated: “We believe the combination of Trimble’s experience and industry leadership in construction technologies and Boston Dynamics’ Spot can transform the way the industry operates. The integrated solution will enable any jobsite leader to deploy Spot and Trimble technologies to get an accurate view of construction progress through real-time data collection. With a more comprehensive view of site activity, project managers can take proactive measures to ensure on-time, on-budget and safer project delivery.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact