This wearable robotic arm can hold tools, pick fruit, and punch through walls

Doc Ock, is that you?

We’ve always had a soft spot for supernumerary robotic limbs here at The Verge, but this latest example of the genre is one of the most impressive we’ve seen to date. Designed by researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada, it’s a hydraulic arm that sits on the wearer’s hip and uses a three-fingered manipulator to carry out a range of tasks.

Continue reading… “This wearable robotic arm can hold tools, pick fruit, and punch through walls”

Case unveils all-electric backhoe with 90% lower cost of operation

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Electrification goes beyond the passenger car industry and it is now starting to take hold in the construction equipment industry.

Case, one of the largest construction equipment companies, has unveiled a new all-electric backhoe, which it claims has up to 90% lower cost of operation.

The company says that the new vehicle, the CASE 580 EV, has equivalent performance as its diesel counterparts:

“The CASE 580 EV (electric vehicle) delivers backhoe power and performance equivalent to its diesel counterpart while also providing instant torque, lower jobsite noise, lower daily and lifetime operating costs, reduced maintenance demands and absolutely zero emissions.”

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14 jobs that could be automated within the next decade

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 Automation is firmly established in the workplace, and many businesses have benefited greatly from this rapidly evolving technology. Tedious, repetitive tasks—such as data entry and scheduling—that once ate up valuable hours in an employee’s day can now be streamlined with the right automation processes.

Now that the business world has seen the power of automation, the question has become, “What’s next?” The members of Forbes Technology Council are constantly looking out for new tech trends, and they believe the next jobs to be impacted by automation might not be the ones people expect.

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Scientists bring concrete to life & it might be the future of construction

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Today in weird news we didn’t expect to read: Researchers in Colorado have produced Franken-concrete. It’s alive, and it may be the future of green buildings.

 Concrete is, quite literally, all around us. It, or versions of it, has been used since 1300 B.C., meaning even a trip to Roman ruins is surrounded by concrete. In the last century, the technology of concrete hasn’t changed, but this new breakthrough has changed that.

The second most consumed material on earth, the production and use of concrete is responsible for 6% of global CO2 emissions—no small thing. Using bacteria, sand, and a hydrogel, the researchers found a way to produce a material that mimics the strength of concrete-based mortar.

How does it work? The power of the bacteria helps to “biomineralize the scaffold, so it actually is really green. It looks like a Frankenstein-type material,” said study senior author Wil Srubar, Ph.D. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to create–something that stays alive.”

And if you thought the idea of living concrete was weird enough, hold on tight: It’s about to get weirder. The material can reproduce, with a little help. If researchers split a brick of the material in half, the bacteria grows the pieces into two complete bricks. They found that this works to end up with eight bricks from the original one in three “generations.”

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WA’s Fastbrick robot building home in three days a ‘world-first’

PERTH-based Fastbrick Robotics has achieved what it says is a world-first with the fully automated construction of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in less than three days.

The ASX-listed company says civil and structural engineers verified that the structure — completed on Monday in WA by a robotic arm from a 3D model — met relevant building standards, setting the stage for commercialisation of the product.

The company’s share price soared on the news after coming out of a trading halt, jumping more than 21 per cent, or 3.5¢, to 20¢ by 12.30pm.

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Will 3D printing solve the affordable housing crisis?

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3D printing’s impact on construction is slowly materializing.

Owning one’s own house—a dream of human beings ever since Cro-Magnons looked out of their caves at the retreating glaciers—has been sometimes more, sometimes less affordable. Currently, we’re in one of the less affordable phases. With construction accounting for almost 60 percent of the cost of a new single-family home, measures that reduce labor and simplify material needs may make the dream more accessible for many.

Cue the 3D-printing evangelists. The 2010s have been ringing with the hosannas of houses extruded from a 3D printer in hours, sometimes many of them per day. The options seem limitless, with made-to-order versions in concrete, like Icon’s tiny house in Austin; ABS plastic and carbon fiber, like Branch Technology’s prototype home in Chattanooga; and recycled materials, like Chinese manufacturer WinSun’s five-story apartment building in Suzhou. By simplifying construction, we’re told, 3D printing can provide affordable shelter to everyone from the working poor to refugees.

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Watch this humanoid robot install drywall

The HRP-5P is a humanoid robot from Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology institute that can perform common construction tasks including — as we see above — install drywall.

HRP-5P — maybe we can call it Herb? — uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks. In this video we see it use small hooks to grab the wallboard and slide it off onto the floor. Then, with a bit of maneuvering, it’s able to place the board against the joists and drill them in place.

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Five technologies changing construction

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Technology is changing every industry, but what are the top technologies accelerating construction?

The construction industry, in general, suffers from a traditional hesitancy to embrace nascent technologies, caused partly because projects take years to plan and complete. Recently, however, progressive construction honchos have begun to harness and realise the potency of tech – whether it’s virtual reality, autonomous drones, artificial intelligence, concrete three-dimensional (3D) printing and much more.

Thanks to incredible tech advancements, great value is generated by optimising efficiency and productivity – at every stage, from planning to construction. Indeed, many within the industry predict that in a decade a building site will look very different. Here follows five of the most game-changing technologies in the construction world.

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3D concrete printing market – the biggest trends to watch in the near future

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3D Concrete Printing Market – The Biggest Trends to Watch out for in Near Future 2024

3D concrete printing is a technologically advanced and innovative method used for constructing predesigned building components with the help of 3D concrete printers. The technology holds the promise of substantially optimizing the construction industry in terms of construction cost, time, error reduction, flexibility in design, and environmental impact. Past experiments have successfully acknowledged the technology’s expertise on all these fronts and the technology is being steadily adopted on a larger scale around the globe. The field of 3D concrete printing is receiving increased focus from construction companies across the globe. These companies mainly focus on experimenting with different concrete mixes and printing machines to bring about further developments in this construction technique.

With construction companies making continuous efforts to bring 3D concrete printing in mainstream construction, the global 3D concrete printing market is projected to gather significant momentum in the next few years. The report provides a 360-degree overview of the market, covering crucial market-related details about the key elements and segments of the market. The report examines the impact of the major growth drivers, challenges, and trends on the market’s future growth prospects, underlining both the most lucrative and the most unprofitable investment areas.

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Researchers are developing a sustainable concrete alternative made of desert sand

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The strength of bricks and concrete with half the carbon footprint

Sand is the hidden ingredient of design. It’s used to make glass and computer chips, and to bulk and strengthen the concrete used in many of the buildings around us. Though it seems like an abundant resource, sand miners are depleting the gritty, building-grade sand faster than it can be replenished, which has led to a shortage that puts both the environment and industry at risk.

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Robots are preparing to fill 200,000 vacant construction jobs

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As Futurist Thomas Frey says, “As long as we have problems, we’ll always have jobs.”

Automation has long been considered the harbinger of future unemployment, and experts have predicted that the widespread adoption of artificially intelligent (AI) software and smart machines could lead to thousands or even millions of people losing their jobs.

However, that may not be the case in the construction industry. In fact, with a growing shortage in labor, it’s one sector that’s particularly well-suited for an automation takeover.

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Dubai sets its sights on 3D printing 25% of its new construction by 2030

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Starting as a niche technology, 3D printing has been around for a long time. And talk of how this technology could transform the construction industry, largely theoretical, has long circulated, too. But now, thanks to young entrepreneurs Chris Kelsey and Fernando De los Rios, we can expect to see 3D printing robots on building sites rather than hundred of masons in Dubai, and around the world.

The Silicon Valley-based duo has joined forces with the Dubai government, which has set a target for 25% of buildings to be 3D-printed by 2030 in the emirate.

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