MONTREAL — In what it says is a world first, Quebec-based Pomerleau has initiated a six-month program to use a robot to track the progress of work at a construction worksite near Montreal.
Spot, as the device is called, is a fully automated, battery-operated moving robot equipped with a 360-degree HD camera attached to its back, stated a Jan. 29 release. The camera is linked with HoloBuilder, a documentation platform that allows comparisons with virtual design and construction software, enabling a full site view from a remote connection. The photos will be used to track the project’s progress and adherence to budget, schedule and quality standards.
Designed and built by Boston Dynamics, the Spot robot is equipped with autonomous tracking systems that enable it to identify and avoid obstacles and people, pick itself up after a fall, move in any direction, and quickly change directions. Pomerleau said its tracking systems will enable the robot to examine confined or dangerous spaces, improving safety for workers.
“This initiative is in line with Pomerleau’s mission of identifying, leveraging and championing innovation,” said Ian Kirouac, head of transformation at Pomerleau, in the release. “Our industry is undergoing a profound transformation. We foresee robotics playing a large role in it.”
“We are consistently trying out new technologies, tools and ways of working that will ultimately add value to our projects and benefit our clients,” said Eric Lessard, Pomerleau’s chief digital officer.