Earthwork Industry News Roundup: November 2019

To keep you in the know this month, we’re sharing a roundup covering news and trends in the construction, mining, aggregates, and waste management industries. 

As we approach a new year, most earthwork operations are auditing their current workflows and looking for efficiency deficits they can resolve with additional tech. It’s no surprise that startups around the world are giving their products that final push to remain top of mind for worksites as they research and vet 2020 vendors. 

three yellow excavators

This month, we’re seeing autonomy and automation (and even exoskeletons) across the board. The construction industry shifts their attention to hybrid tech, exploring how next-gen solutions like IoT and AR interact in conjunction with one another, while mines continue to delve deeper into the relationship between drone usage and overall site efficiency. 

On top of that, the American Surveyor covers how a group of land surveyors are digitally preserving the city of Volterra, using 3D models to recreate ancient structures that have deteriorated by the passage of time. 

Let’s dive into all the latest earthwork happenings. 


Hybrid Technologies and the Automation of Construction

from Architect Magazine 

“Design practitioners have become familiar with an array of evolving technologies such as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), building information modeling (BIM), and robotics. What we contemplate less often, however, is what happens when these technologies are combined . . .” 


Meet the Tiny Austin Company That Wants to Disrupt the Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry With Its 3-D-Printed Homes

from Inc 

Like lab-grown meat or self-driving cars, 3-D-printed housing seems like a science-fiction fantasy come to life—which is why Icon became an overnight sensation in March 2018, when it unveiled a tiny home it had printed with Vulcan II’s predecessor (called, naturally, Vulcan I) at Austin’s SXSW conference. The company quickly raised $9 million in seed funding from top venture capitalists . . .”  


Tech 101: Exoskeletons

from Construction Dive 

“Sometimes referred to as exosuits, exoskeletons are a type of wearable technology that helps lessen worker strain from repetitive tasks that are common in manufacturing and construction. By providing support and reducing stress on the user’s body, these machines that attach to the human body enhance the ability to work quickly and safely and help reduce injuries. Although only offered by a handful of manufacturers like Ekso Bionics, Levitate Technologies and Sarcos Robotics, exoskeletons are in use . . .” 


Autonomous drones to lead the way in mining surveillance technology—report


Miners are expected to continue using autonomous drone technology as a complement to new IOT solutions to improve mine operation efficiency and worker safety, a new industry trend analysis by Fitch Solutions finds. Drones with autonomous capabilities and extended flight time will be preferred as both offer further efficiency gains to other available options, while a country’s regulatory environment will be a notable drawback on the pace of autonomous drone advancement . . .”


Modern Adventures in History: Digitally Preserving the Ancient City of Volterra

from American Surveyor 

“Not many geospatial professionals enter the field thinking they will travel to Italy to document and digitize ancient sites. For many, it would be the ultimate adventure of combining history and technology—Indiana Jones without the boulders and snakes, and Star Trek without the intergalactic conflict. Three leaders in the Survey/Geospatial Practice of Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) embarked on such an adventure . . .” 


Army photogrammetry technique makes 3D aerial maps in minutes

from TechCrunch 

“Aerial imagery is a common asset in military matters, but 3D maps can be difficult to collect on short notice without specialized equipment. This new photogrammetry technique from the Army Corps of Engineers, however, can make accurate 3D maps from ordinary aerial footage in just minutes. Photogrammetry is the process of comparing multiple photos of the same location or item to produce a 3D map . . .” 


Safety nad Drones


Keep Reading:

The Importance of Accurate 3D Modeling in Construction Projects

Top 3 Visuals You Can Get Out of Drone Surveying

Women in Mining Q&A: Orica’s Cara Rosen

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