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World-First Robotic Tech to Construct Murdoch’s Building 360

Image Credits: Murdoch University, Press Release

Robotic technology has been trialled at Murdoch’s Building 360 construction site in a world-first project, in conjunction with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and an industry partner.

Building 360 will be a technology-rich, Mass Engineered Timber (MET) building which will accommodate up to 60% of the University’s teaching requirements. It will be the largest MET building in Western Australia and a demonstration of Murdoch’s commitment to sustainability, aiming for a 6 Star Green Star rating. Once complete, Building 360 will transform the student and staff experience by offering new, digitally enabled teaching and learning spaces in an environmentally friendly design.

Given the innovation involved at all levels of the project, an opportunity arose to embed a research project in Building 360’s construction. This involved the use of prototype robots that can help deliver cumbersome screw fixings – an important albeit labour-intensive task that’s essential on MET projects.

More about Building 360

Building 360 will open in Semester 1, 2023. Designed with students at its heart, the new infrastructure will enhance students’ study experience and provide them with a fresh space to learn, collaborate and socialise. Up to 60% of classes will be taught in the new building.

Building 360 combines modern, sustainable design and digital technology to bring students the best possible experience. Students in 2023 will be the first to experience and benefit from the future of learning right here at Murdoch. With a fresh space on campus and native gardens, Building 360 will provide improved connectivity to the rest of the University and Bush Court – the heart of Murdoch.

Building 360 uses AR and AI technology making in-person learning more fun and interactive with both teachers and peers.

Technology features at a glance:

  • Students will be able to remotely join classes and workshops (optional) and engage with peers and teachers.
  • Students can attend class via the Teams platform if they are external students, on holiday or feel unwell. Everyone is welcome and it offers true flexibility to fit around the students’ lifestyles.
  • It will also allow students to catch up on classes and revise study notes easily through a new way to record and view classes.
  • Students can meet peers from around the world and extend their professional and social networks through digital collaboration tools.

The Construction Robot Market was valued at US$44.63 million in 2020 and is projected to reach US$95.10 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of approximately 13.6% during the forecast period (2021–2026).

The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the construction industry, with construction work coming to a standstill in the initial months of lockdown. However, the demand for 3D printing resulted in increased interest by the industry in adopting the technology owing to the safety benefits offered.

 

Moreover, the market for construction robots is anticipated to benefit from the increase in construction activities. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a slight dampening effect on the market over the forecast period, more prominently over the later period as economies might experience a slowdown. Construction robots’ demand, however, might increase due to safety needs, such as social distancing.

The increasing focus of the construction organisations on reducing the resource and material waste of the building materials during construction is expected to drive the adoption of the construction robots market. Construction is one of the sectors where a significant amount of material is wasted due to the traditional construction process.

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