Is There a Place for Cobots in Construction?

That’s why manufactured homes are often sensible solutions. Workers and machines assemble parts of them in controlled factory settings, then transport them to their destinations. It’s common to see conventional robots assisting with the assembly-line-like setup at many manufactured-home companies.

A German company called Weinmann specializes in such home-building equipment and can even plan a factory from scratch. By investing between $3 million and $10 million, depending on the extent of automation desired, a company could build as many as 1,000 homes annually with the help of Weinmann’s robotic equipment.

On a global scale, about 150 manufactured-home factories use thousands of Weinmann robots. It doesn’t seem like a stretch, then, for some of those establishments to eventually add cobots to their workforces.

In the manufacturing sector, factory workers frequently depend on cobots to help with repetitive tasks, such as inserting bolts or handling small components.

Franke, a company that manufactures kitchen sinks, uses its cobots to produce up to 10,000 sinks every year: specifically, by deploying cobots to dispense glue and attach mounting blocks to all sides of the sinks.

In addition to increasing productivity, this approach led to higher job satisfaction by freeing up employees to do more stimulating tasks. Similarly, using cobots in a manufactured-home setting could increase output while reducing burdens on the human labor force.

Cobots May Eventually Team up with Construction Professionals

To answer the question posed by the title—yes, several possible applications for cobots undoubtedly exist in the construction sector.

However, such opportunities may not present themselves for a few years or more.

Cobots are relatively new in the robotics industry and, as mentioned above, construction cobots will need materials and features that aren’t part of the existing machines.

Related: What Does the Future Hold for Artificial Intelligence

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