Komatsu Ltd, one of the leading construction equipment manufacturers, developed partnership with Chinese commercial drone manufacturer DJI to supply 1,000 drones. All these 1,000 drones use machine vision software developed by U.S. startup Skycatch. DJI also announced that order of 1,000 drones is its biggest single shipment for UAVs. This drones are semiautonomous DJI’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that use machine vision technology to monitor and survey construction sites. These drones will produce maps and help construction companies in monitoring stockpiles at jobsite. Komatsu is looking forward to integrate this drone technology with its upcoming robot construction equipment. Christian Sanz, CEO of Skycatch said that company’s more than ten thousand drones are already operating in construction jobs in Japan.
In 2015, Komatsu has launched its drone assisted automated construction equipment services in the local market. These smart construction solutions use Komatsu’s intelligent Machine Control (iMC) technology along with 3D laser scanners and drones with an intention to automate jobsite survey and pre-foundation work. Since its introduction, this service has been used on more than 5,500 jobsites in Japan with an addition of more than 1,500 jobsites in the last seven months. After the success of this service in the local market, Komatsu is looking forward to introduce robot construction vehicles assisted with drone technology.
Continuous advancement has been observed in construction equipment industry in the last decade. Manufacturers are focusing to overcome challenges of using traditional equipment and developing innovative solutions to meet the demand of growing construction industry. Komatsu rightly identified shortage of skilled workers to operate construction equipment in Japan and introduced smart construction services to overcome this challenge. The company is now started working on developing robotic construction vehicles. This represents use of robot in construction application will become reality and we will see robots operating on jobsites in the near future.