What will be the most disruptive technology in the construction industry in 2019 and beyond? Is it drones, robotics, AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, or something else entirely? Here at Constructech, we are watching trends closely to help you determine which technology will be most impactful to construction businesses in the months ahead.

Perhaps one of the most talked about, specifically for construction, is robotics—more specifically drones. The use of robotics and drones on the construction jobsite has picked up momentum in the past several months—and will continue to grow in the year ahead.

IDC forecasts worldwide spending on robotics systems, including drones, will reach $115.7 billion in 2019, which is up 17.6% from 2018. Looking even further out, IDC predicts it will reach $210.3 billion by 2022, which is a 20.2% growth rate.

Here’s where it gets interesting for construction. This industry in particular will see some of the fastest growth of robotics and drones, with an anticipated growth rate of 28.1% through 2022.

Robotics and drones will continue to proliferate the industry, as price points come down and more use cases emerge. Alongside robotics, AI will continue to give workers the knowledge and information needed to complete a job faster and safer than in the past.

Zion Market Research predicts AI is expected to grow 38.14% between 2018 and 2024, specifically for the construction industry. This is driven in part by the adoption of robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles, and AI can also be leveraged for aerial mapping, surveying, and automation of other business processes such as project management, field management, risk management, supply-chain management, and scheduling.

The technology is already here in some instances too. While drones are a clear example, there are other cutting-edge cases. Consider the Polibot, currently on display at Sir John Soane’s museum. It is built on spider cams and pick-and-place technology. The prototype robot is constructing and then deconstructing the dome from the Bank of England, using architectural drawings translated into lines of code. Pretty cool, right?

There are big opportunities for robotics and AI in the construction industry. Now it is time to address how to reach greater adoption on jobsites.

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor