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Unformatted text preview: 2003 by CRC Press LLC 6 Construction Automation 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Fixed Construction Automation Examples of Fixed Construction Automation 6.3 Programmable Construction Automation Construction Robots Numerical Control 6.4 Computer-Integrated Construction (CIC) Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Geometric Modeling Automated Material Management Network Communication Example Application of Computer-Integrated Construction 6.5 Toward Advanced Construction Automation Emerging Technologies Construction Robot Path Planning Examples of Recent Research and Applications 6.6 Economics Automated Stone Cutting Steel Bridge Deck Welding Excavation Large-Scale Manipulators Interior Finishing Robot Exterior Building Finishers Automated Slab Placing and Finishing Shimizus SMART System Obayashis ABCS Maedas MCCS Obayashis Big Canopy Kajimas AMURAD 6.7 Summary 6.1 Introduction In the U.S., the construction industry is one of the largest industrial sectors. The expenditure on construc- tion between 1996 and 1999 was estimated at $416.4 billion dollars, which amounts to about 4.5% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [Lum and Moyer, 2000]. The construction industrys share increased from 4 to 4.5% between 1996 and 1999. In addition, over 6.8 million people are employed in the con- struction industry, including design, construction, remodeling, maintenance, and equipment and materials suppliers. This number represents 5.2% of the nonagricultural labor force of the U.S. [BLS, 2001]. Clearly, this enormous capital investment and expenditure and large number of employees highlight the crucial role that the construction industry plays to enhance the overall national economy of the U.S. Despite its importance to the national economy, the U.S. construction industry faces a number of problems in safety, quality, productivity, technology, and foreign competition. To overcome these prob- lems, automation and robotic technologies are often considered solutions [Everett and Saito, 1996; Cous- ineau and Miura, 1998; Warszawski and Navon, 1998]. Since 1980, significant efforts have been made to introduce automation and robotic technologies into construction. However, only specialized applications of automation and robotics have been implemented due to economic and technical considerations. In many cases, the work site poses a significant health hazard to humans involved. Hazards are associated with work in undersea areas, underground, at high elevations, on chemically or radioactively Jeffrey S. Russell University of Wisconsin-Madison Sung-Keun Kim University of Wisconsin-Madison contaminated sites, and in regions with prevailing harsh temperatures. The U.S. construction industry continues to be the industrial sector responsible for the most occupational accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Hinze  mentioned that the construction sector has generally accounted for nearly 20% of all industry worker deaths. There were 1190 fatal occupational injuries and 501,400 nonfatal injuriesof all industry worker deaths....
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