Robot boosts construction safety

The Housing Authority today gave a demonstration of its multifunctional indoor construction robot, explaining that its introduction has boosted safety at public housing sites. 


Since the authority added new requirements to its tender evaluations for new building contracts in 2020, different types of construction robots have been deployed in various public housing projects, improving site safety, construction quality and productivity.


At a media briefing, the authority showed attendees how its indoor construction robot, currently deployed on four public housing projects, can perform skim coating, grinding, and painting work. 


The robot can sense its surroundings through laser scanning, and uses an artificial intelligence (AI) vision algorithm to detect ceilings, pipe ducts and other obstructions as it performs its tasks.


In addition, the robot can collect dust as it performs grinding works, thereby maintaining a tidy site environment. Furthermore, occupational health and safety are enhanced as operators can control the robot remotely, at ground level, eliminating the need to work at height and minimising their exposure to paint.


The robot’s ability to estimate what it needs by way of construction materials in turn reduces waste, which makes projects more environmentally friendly.


The robot comes in two sizes. Whereas the larger model is suitable for works at sites with higher headroom, such as carparks and bus termini, the smaller-size robot is suitable for works at floor-level.


Head/Development & Construction InnoTech in the authority’s Housing Department, Romeo Yiu, said that to cope with the massive amount of public housing construction being undertaken and to alleviate manpower issues, the authority has embraced innovation and technology both to enhance site safety and attract new entrants to the sector.


He added that the authority will continue to use different types of construction robots in its projects and tasks, helping to promote upgrading and transformation of the construction industry.

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