Advertisement

A Review of the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Use of Automation and Robotics in the Construction Industry

  • Josephine LlaleEmail author
  • Matleko Setati
  • Success Mavunda
  • Thando Ndlovu
  • David Root
  • Paulin Wembe
Conference paper

Abstract

The construction industry is hazardous and dirty. Automation and robotics in construction (ARC) were introduced to execute tasks that are difficult for humans and to reduce the number of incidents on construction sites. This study discusses the advantages and the disadvantages of the use of ARC in the South African construction industry. A narrative literature review was conducted. Given that the construction industry is a wide concept, that includes amongst others; materials, processes and site activities, the study only considers the use of ARC as it relates to site activities in South Africa. In spite of the many advantages that ARC has to offer the South African construction industry, ARC is yet to be widely adopted in South Africa. ARC can potentially reduce the number of fatalities and improve efficiency and productivity on site. However, high costs of adoption and the loss of jobs are some of the factors that are hindering adoption. The construction industry in South Africa needs structural changes in order to benefit from the use of ARC. The results of the study will benefit stakeholders in the construction industry in South Africa, particularly construction companies and the government.

Keywords

Automation Construction industry Robotics Site activities 

References

  1. 1.
    Wang, J., Zou, P.X., Li, P.P.: Critical factors and paths influencing construction workers’ safety risk tolerances. Accid. Anal. Prev. 93, 267–279 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Li, H., Lu, M., Hsu, S.-C., Gray, M., Huang, T.: Proactive behavior-based safety management for construction safety improvement. Saf. Sci. 75, 107–117 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fang, D., Wu, H.: Development of a safety culture interaction (SCI) model for construction projects. Saf. Sci. 57, 138–149 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.02.003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Death and injury stalk construction sites | Safe Build Forum. http://forum.safebuild.co.za/index.php?threads/death-and-injury-stalk-construction-sites.758/
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Hager, I., Golonka, A., Putanowicz, R.: 3D printing of buildings and building components as the future of sustainable construction? Procedia Eng. 151, 292–299 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pan, M., Linner, T., Pan, W., Cheng, H., Bock, T.: A framework of indicators for assessing construction automation and robotics in the sustainability context. J. Cleaner Prod. 182, 82–95 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Khoshnevis, B.: Automated construction by contour crafting—related robotics and information technologies. Autom. Constr. 13, 5–19 (2004).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2003.08.012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Elattar, S.M.S.: Automation and robotics in construction: opportunities and challenges. Emirates J. Eng. Res. 13, 21–26 (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chen, Q., de Soto, B.G., Adey, B.T.: Construction automation: research areas, industry concerns and suggestions for advancement. Autom. Constr. 94, 22–38 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Oesterreich, T.D., Teuteberg, F.: Understanding the implications of digitisation and automation in the context of industry 4.0: a triangulation approach and elements of a research agenda for the construction industry. Comput. Ind. 83, 121–139 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kamaruddin, S.S., Mohammad, M.F., Mahbub, R.: Barriers and impact of mechanisation and automation in construction to achieve better quality products. Procedia – Soc. Behav. Sci. 222, 111–120 (2016).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.05.197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mistri, P.S., Rathod, H.A.: Remedies over barriers of automation and robotics for construction industry. Int. J. Adv. Res. Eng. Sci. Manage. 1–4 (2015)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vähä, P., Heikkilä, T., Kilpeläinen, P., Järviluoma, M., Gambao, E.: Extending automation of building construction—survey on potential sensor technologies and robotic applications. Autom. Constr. 36, 168–178 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shinde, V., Sarode, G.: Robotics application in construction industry. Int. J. Eng. Manage. Res. (IJEMR) 8, 16–18 (2018)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
    Cerasis_IT: Industrial Automation: Brief History and Use in Manufacturing (2014). https://cerasis.com/industrial-automation/
  19. 19.
    McAfee, A.: Manufacturing Jobs and the Rise of the Machines (2013). https://hbr.org/2013/01/manufacturing-jobs-and-the-ris
  20. 20.
    Frey, C.B., Osborne, M.A.: The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerisation? Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 114, 254–280 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.08.019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
    Figueiredo, A.E., Carvalhal, R. de D., Hoeflich, S., Figueiredo, L., Pereira, S.L., Dias, E.M.: Port operation–increase of automated systems, decline of workforce jobs? In: Proceedings of 19th International Conference on Circuits, Systems, Communications and Computers (CSCC 2015), Recent Advances in Computer Science, pp. 259–266 (2015)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jung, K., Chu, B., Hong, D.: Robot-based construction automation: an application to steel beam assembly (Part II). Autom. Constr. 32, 62–79 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2012.12.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ardiny, H., Witwicki, S., Mondada, F.: Construction automation with autonomous mobile robots: a review. In: 2015 3rd RSI International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICROM), pp. 418–424 (2015).  https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRoM.2015.7367821
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
    ElSafty, A., ElSafty, A., Malek, M.: Construction safety and occupational health education in Egypt, the EU, and US firms. Open J. Civil Eng. 2, 174 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
    Koehn, E.E., Kothari, R.K., Pan, C.S.: Safety in developing countries: professional and bureaucratic problems. J. Constr. Eng. Manage. 121, 261–265 (1995).  https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364
  29. 29.
    Hsu, P.-Y., Angeloudis, P., Aurisicchio, M.: Optimal logistics planning for modular construction using two-stage stochastic programming. Autom. Constr. 94, 47–61 (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2018.05.029CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
    WEF_Shaping_the_Future_of_Construction_full_report__.pdf. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Shaping_the_Future_of_Construction_full_report__.pdf
  32. 32.
    Ampofo-Anti et al.: Potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the South African Construction Sector. https://www.sagreenfund.org.za/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/CSIR-Potential-for-reducing-GHG-emissions-in-the-South-African-construction-sector.pdf
  33. 33.
  34. 34.
  35. 35.
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
  38. 38.
  39. 39.
    Greve, N.: CIDB Grade 1 offers ‘no barrier’ to industry entry, needs rehaul. http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/cidb-grade-1-offers-no-barrier-to-industry-entry-needs-rehaul-2014-04-08

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josephine Llale
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matleko Setati
    • 1
  • Success Mavunda
    • 1
  • Thando Ndlovu
    • 1
  • David Root
    • 1
  • Paulin Wembe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations