Robotics in Tall Building Construction

New Frontiers in Fabrication and Automation

The construction industry is routinely identified as one of the slowest to adopt technological advances. And yet, the need to rapidly construct new buildings for a growing urban population, counteract the aging of the workforce and high labor costs, and reduce on-site waste, all point toward the advantages of automating construction. Through a historical review, comprehensive cataloging of both conceptual and existing industrial robotic concepts and techniques, and a series of robust case studies, this publication delves into the future of this promising field, identifying the incentives for, and obstacles to adoption by the construction industry.

Comparatively, the automotive industry has experienced the most significant changes in the transition from a human to a robotic workforce, and the lessons provided are numerous. Robots have been highly effective and advantageous at performing tasks that are repetitive, require high levels of precision, or are dangerous. While the size of the human workforce in the construction sector has declined, new jobs are being been created in the design, building and operation of such robots. Automation and robots have already been used in the construction of buildings across different heights, typologies, and complexities.

From simple automation to autonomous construction, from drone-based assembly to human-enhancing exoskeletons, the full range of possibilities—including government, private, and academic research, as well as real-world applications—is explored in detail in this comprehensive report.

Principal Researchers / Authors: Alberto Balzan, Claudia Cabrera Aparicio & Dario Trabucco
Editorial Support: Emily Torem & Daniel Safarik
Layout: Rachel Fox
Chicago, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-939493-77-7
Soft cover, 248 pages, 8.5"W x 11"H

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