Will construction sites be human free by 2050?

Construction work will be controlled remotely without the physical presence of humans by 2050, according to a new paper published by Balfour Beatty..

Construction sites are predicted to be human free with machinery operated via remote control and new materials and techniques utilised to improve cost, safety and efficiency.

The report – ‘Innovation 2050: A Digital Future for the Infrastructure Industry’ – has highlighted new innovations in construction, including the use of robots in teams to build complex structures.

Elements of buildings will self-assemble, while drones will fly overhead to scan the site, inspect the work and use the data collected to predict and solve problems before they arise.

These drones will also send instructions to robotic cranes, diggers and automated builders with no need for human involvement.

Human overseers will remotely manage multiple projects simultaneously, using 3D and 4D visuals and data from the on-site machines.

“We are experiencing a digital revolution redefining how we, as an industry, operate; becoming faster, better and more agile,” said Leo Quinn, chief executive of Balfour Beatty Group.

“These changes will mean we have to ensure our industry trains our current and future employees with the skills to exploit the use of new technology, new materials and new methods of working.

“Balfour Beatty has made significant progress in its vision to become a truly digitally empowered business, developing our internal capabilities, collaborating across our supply chain and partnering with the best technologically creative minds enabling us to be bold in the adoption of new and emerging technologies.” 

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