Robots in Construction and Maintenance: Current Use in Power System Work and Inside Construction

According to the 2020 report by Phillips, as many as 2.7 million (49%) of all construction positions could be replaced with machines by 2057. Specifically, this report found there is automation potential of about 42% for electricians, 50% for plumbers, 50% for carpenters, and 88% for operating engineers.

Future trends and opportunities identified by Mahbub research in 2015 indicate that the number of construction companies using automation and robotic technologies will increase significantly, technologies will be cheaper to acquire and operate, and there will be a significantly larger range of these technologies for use in construction.

The robotic industry has reached such a degree of maturity that there are currently 18 different ISO published robot standards, seven different robotic organizations, and 15 different IEEE categories of robots by application. Of these categories, this report examines Exoskeletons and Service and Industrial robots. Within these two, the research team identified over 30 different robot manufacturers, including more than 40 different robots available for purchase, lease, robots as a service (RaaS), and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO).

Several of today’s robot manufacturers and other industry partners offer advice on factors to consider when evaluating estimated payback times and ROI expectations. Eight different templates are referenced and three different examples are included.

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Lonny Simonian


California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

Publication Date:

December 2020

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