Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The Construction industry has burst into a flurry of activity as the most aggressive infrastructure spending initiative since the 1950s was signed into law on Monday. Combined with a skilled labor shortage, the $550 Billion bill calls into question whether contractors have the capacity to meet rapidly growing demand. Innovative contractors across the nation are turning to new technology for help. Robots as a new class of equipment are proving to be an effective complement to human crews and will be essential to completing the projects laid out within the infrastructure bill.
Woman-owned Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Shelby Erectors is an example of the effective usage of robotics on the jobsite to contractors across the country. Contracted for rebar installation on the 512,427 sqft I-95 Express Phase 3C project in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Shelby elected to utilize TyBOT by Advanced Construction Robotics to boost crew productivity. TyBOT, a rebar tying robot, leverages cutting edge artificial intelligence to tie together the rebar grid that commonly reinforces concrete surfaces. While TyBOT is actively tying rebar, Shelby’s laborers are free to handle more skilled tasks better suited for human hands.
Shelby stands tall in the industry as an example of how to adapt to modern challenges, and its President, Jennifer Nix, is positioning her company to meet the labor demands of the new infrastructure bill. “TyBot is definitely a lifesaver when labor availability is lacking. It provides a level of consistency that's difficult to match and is why we’re currently using it on 3 separate concrete bridge construction projects across Florida.” Nix says, “TyBot removes the repetitive, back-breaking work that can cause serious long-term injuries, and anything we can do to improve our crews’ health and safety is a huge priority for us. TyBOT allows us to safely stay on schedule while shorthanded and to move our workforce on to higher-skilled tasks or to another jobsite where they can be better utilized.” The I-95 Express Project has become a landmark in the application of new technologies on major infrastructure projects. It is among the first projects in the world to address the labor shortage with cutting-edge robotic technology.
ACR is excited to call Shelby Erectors our integration partner. For many years our co-founders have observed the industry and have watched the labor gap growing. With this new infrastructure initiative, the shortage is accelerating at an alarming rate. Co-Founder Jeremy Searock is seeing his vision for the company become reality, saying “ACR was founded for moments like this. Our robots will continue to solve today’s construction challenges assisting the workforce to meet rapidly growing demand, such as what will be generated from the infrastructure bill.” ACR believes robotics can and will come to the rescue of crews struggling to close the growing labor gap. In order to complete the Billions in new projects, partnerships like those between Shelby and ACR will be absolutely essential.
Nix says “As the labor gap in construction continues to grow with increasing demand, it is crucial to incorporate solutions like TyBot to mitigate the effects. We have found that TyBOT saves at least 25% on our rebar tying schedule. This provides a crucial edge when bidding projects, and project owners, typically DOT, often like to see innovative tech used. We will likely use TyBot on over half of our projects in the next 5 years.” The effectiveness of jobsite robotics on this project will be sure to be noticed as contractors scramble to address the flood of new infrastructure initiatives coming from Capitol Hill. The lesson is clear, useful robots are no longer science fiction. They are here and ready to do work today.
A world-leading innovator of autonomous robotic equipment, Advanced Construction Robotics is transforming the construction industry by filling the skilled labor gap and increasing overall productivity. Our robots give construction firms the ability to meet a rapidly growing demand, improve safety, and reduces scheduling risks. TyBOT, ACR’s first product, is a rebar tying robot that self-navigates, self-ties, and does not require programming or build plan input from the working crew. TyBot’s partner, IronBot, will lift, carry, and install rebar when it comes to market in 2022.