Comparison of on-site and off-site robot solutions to the traditional framing and drywall installation tasks
Given the efforts to automate construction tasks on- and off-site, construction innovation leaders should determine whether robots are beneficial compared to traditional methods. However, we have not found a study comparing on and off-site robots to traditional methods. This paper develops a case study contrasting the impact of on-site drywall placing robots and off-site framing to the traditional framing and drywall installation. Strenuous work reduced from 90 to 57% with the on-site robot and 44% with the off-site robot. Both robots minimized the 3% traditional rework. Prefabrication cut the framing and drywall schedule by 38% and the on-site robot by 23% working 16-h shifts. Added costs included the robot service (50% increase) and the prefabrication logistics (45% increase). Finally, the paper assesses whether the traditional versus single-task robot evaluation method is suitable for off-site prefabrication robots. Limitations included the schedule comparison units, business model adoption, and environmental impacts.