Application of Robotic Technology for the Advancement of Construction Industry in Sri Lanka: A Review

  • K. G. A. S. WaidyasekaraEmail author
  • Madhawa Gamlath
  • Sonali Pandithawatta
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


The construction industry is one of the least automated industries, and robot implementation at the construction site is limited. Moreover, the industry has traditionally not been a favorable area for the application of robotics. However, with the discovery of more cost-effective applications and motives such as reducing the labor force population, the aging of skilled workers, and safety issues, their use will undoubtedly increase, especially in the developed countries. Robotic technology provides many benefits for the advancement of the industry while the local construction industry is not fully geared to entirely implement such increased technological applications. Therefore, there is a need to investigate the feasibility of introducing robotic technology for the advancement of the construction industry in Sri Lanka as a developing country. Hence, this paper aims to review the importance and application of robotic technology to the local construction projects by critically studying the secondary data on global construction automation and to further discuss benefits and challenges. The paper also presents a view on the application of robotic technology in the Sri Lankan construction industry by reviewing secondary data and basing this upon the opinions from the preliminary survey.


Application Advancement Construction Robotics Technology 


  1. Akshatha D, Vimala M, Sahana S, Manjula M (2017) Robotics in construction technology. Int J Adv Res Sci Eng 6(10):547–553Google Scholar
  2. Balaguer C, Abderrahim M (2008) Trends in robotics and automation. Robot Autom Constr 1–20Google Scholar
  3. Bang S, Kim H, Kim H (2017) UAV-based automatic generation of high-resolution panorama at a construction site with a focus on preprocessing for image stitching. Autom Constr 84:70–80Google Scholar
  4. Bechar A, Vigneault C (2017) Agricultural robots for field operations. Biosyst Eng 153:110–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernold L (1987) Automation and robotics in construction: a challenge and a chance for an industry in transition. Int J Proj Manag 5(3):1–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bloch V, Bechar A, Degani A (2017) Development of an environment characterization methodology for optimal design of an agricultural robot. Ind Robot 44(1):94–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bogue R (2018) What are the prospects for robots in the construction indsutry? Ind Robot 45(1):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Calo R (2014) The case for a federal robotics commission. Brooking PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Calo R, Froomkin AM, Kerr I (2016) Robot law. Edward Elgar, GloucestershireCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chang P, Wagner A (2015) Surgical robots and telesurgery. In: Minimally invasive surgery: laparoscopy, therapeutic endoscopy and notes, pp 173–180Google Scholar
  11. Cheng YW, Sun PC, Chen SS (2017) The essential applications of educational robot: requirement analysis from the perspectives of experts, researchers and instructors. Comput Educ 126:399–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clough RH, Sears GA, Sears SK (2000) Construction project management, 4th edn. Wiley, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  13. Dakhli Z, Lafhaj Z (2017) Robotic mechanical design for brick-laying automation. Cogent Eng 4(1):1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Deplazes A (2008) Constructing architecture: materials, processes, structures: a handbook. Birkhauser ArchitectureGoogle Scholar
  15. De Silva N, Rajakaruna RWDWCAB, Bandara KATN (2008) Challenges faced by the construction industry in Sri Lanka: perspective of clients and contractors. Build Resil 158–169Google Scholar
  16. Department of Forestry and Environmental Science (2016) Final environmental impact assessment report; proposed central expressway project. University of Sri Jayewardenepura, NugegodaGoogle Scholar
  17. Felicia A, Sharif S (2014) A review on educational robotics as assistive tools for learning mathematics and science. Comput Sci Trends Technol 2(2):62–84Google Scholar
  18. Gambao E, Balaguer C (2002) Robotics and automation in construction. IEEE Robot Autom Mag 4–6Google Scholar
  19. Gries T, Lutz V (2018) Application of robotics in garment. Autom Garment Manuf 179–197Google Scholar
  20. Hewitt M, Gambatese J (2002) Automation consideration during project design. In: International symposium on automation and robotics in construction, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  21. Howard J, Murashov V, Branche CM (2017) Unmanned aerial vehicles in construction and worker safety. Am J Ind Med 2–10Google Scholar
  22. Idoro GI, Bamidele EO (2011) Influence of channels of recruitment on performance of construction workers in Nigeria. In: West Africa built environment research conference 629–639Google Scholar
  23. International Association of Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC) (2004) Self Study Course.
  24. Iqbal J (2007) Learning from a doctoral research project: structure and content of a research proposal. Electron J Bus Res Methods 5(1):11–20Google Scholar
  25. Jaillon L, Poon C, Chiang Y (2009) Quantifying the waste reduction potential of using prefabrication in building. Waste Manag 29(2009):309–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kahane B, Rosenfeld Y (1999) Optimizing human-robot integration in block-laying task. Autom Robot Constr 309–314Google Scholar
  27. Kangari R (1986) Robotics feasibility in construction industry, pp 63–103.
  28. Kamaruddin SS, Mohammad MF, Mahbub R (2015) Barriers and impact of mechanisation and automation in construction to achieve better quality products. In: International conference on quality of lifeGoogle Scholar
  29. Kasperzyk C, Kim M, Brilakis I (2017) Automated re-prefabrication system for buildings using robotics. Autom Constr 83(2017):184–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kespry (2019) How drones are creating a new surveying method.
  31. Kurfess RT (2005) Robotics and automation hand book. CRC Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  32. Liljebäck P, Pettersen KY, Stavdahl O, Gravdahl JT (2012) Snake robots: modelling, mechatronics, and control. Springer Science & Business Media, BerlinzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  33. Lin CY, Yang CR, Cheng CL, Ho H, Chui KY, Su CK, Ou YC (2013) Application in robotic urologic surgery. J Chin Med Assoc 242–245Google Scholar
  34. Lasi H, Fettke P, Kemper GH, Feld T, Hoffmann M (2014) Industry 4.0. Business & Information. Systems Engineering 6(4):239–242.
  35. Mahbub M (2015) Framework on the barriers to the implementation of automation and robotics in the construction industry. Int J Innov Manag 3(1):21–36Google Scholar
  36. Moonesinghe V (2017) Robots for Sri Lanka’s labour problems.
  37. Moorthy R (2018) Robots and AI to replace people in another 50 years, industry experts affirm.
  38. Nayak R, Padhye R (2015) Introduction: the apparel industry. In: Garment manufacturing technology, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  39. Neubauer R (2017) Mechanisation and automation in concrete production. In: Modernisation, mechanisation and industrialisation of concrete structures, pp 210–300Google Scholar
  40. Obayashi S (1999) Construction robot systems catalogue in Japan: foreword. In: Council for construction robot research report, pp 1–3Google Scholar
  41. O’Brien J (1991) Development of macro-manipulator based robotic systems for general construction use. In: International symposium on automation and robotics in construction (ISARC), Sydney, Australia, pp 432–438Google Scholar
  42. Rahman AB, Omar W (2006) Issues and challenges in the implementation of industrialised building systems in Malaysia. In: 6th Asia-Pacific structural engineering and construction conference, Kuala Lumpur, pp 45–53Google Scholar
  43. Ratnakumar B, Smart MC (2007) Aerospace applications. II. Planetary exploration missions (orbiters, landers, rovers and probes). In: Industrial applications of batteries, pp 327–393Google Scholar
  44. Robins B, Dautenhahn K (2014) Tactile interactions with a humanoid robot: novel play scenario implementations with children with autism. Int J Social Robot 6(3):397–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shukla A, Karki H (2016) Application of robotics in onshore oil and gas industry—a review part I. Robot Autom Syst 75:490–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stein J, Gotts V, Lahidji B (2002) Construction roboticsGoogle Scholar
  47. Thomas B (2008) Service robotics in construction. In: Service robot applications, pp 384–400Google Scholar
  48. Warszawaki A (1984) Application of robotics to building construction. In: Conference on robotics in construction. Carnegie-Mellon University, PittsburghGoogle Scholar
  49. Woodhead R, Stephenson P, Morrey D (2018) Digital construction: from point solutions to IoT ecosystem. Autom Constr 93:35. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. G. A. S. Waidyasekara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Madhawa Gamlath
    • 1
  • Sonali Pandithawatta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Building EconomicsUniversity of MoratuwaKatubeddaSri Lanka

Personalised recommendations