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Journal Article

Comparative Analysis of Manual and Robotic Concrete Drilling for Installation Hangers

Robots have increased the safety, productivity, and quality of manufacturing. Recently, sensing, computing, and mapping technologies have started to enable the use of robots in unstructured environments like construction. As robotic construction methods are being prototyped and adopted on site, innovation leaders in construction must analyze the safety, productivity, quality, and cost impacts of the deployment of robots. The researchers gained access to engineering, planning, and production data for the first use of a concrete drilling robot on site. This paper compares the traditional way of drilling holes with the robotic way. Compared to manual drilling for installation hangers, the robot achieved a 10% time reduction, increased task ergonomics by cutting 98% of muscle strain work hours, and reduced rework from 5% to 3%. Our comparison pays particular attention to the three levers a project team has to influence project outcomes—the product, the organization, and the process—and found that decisions like implementing a building information model (BIM) at Level of Development (LOD) 400 facilitated the robot use. This study makes two contributions to the fields of construction robotics and project management: First, this research shares a careful analysis of the application of a drilling robot to offer insights into the applicability of robots on site. Second, this analysis suggests key elements and procedures of a framework to compare robotic and traditional construction methods. Future research should establish the generality of this analysis framework.

Cynthia Brosque
Gunnar Skeie
Martin Fischer
Journal Name
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
Publication Date