- Daniela Jiménez
Virtual Reality: Tools That Solve Problems
Photo: Construction Dive
Virtual Reality has been used for entertainment and marketing purposes for a long time. One of it's latest used has been in construction, either for designing buildings or achieving unique shapes with bricks, this latest advancement in technology has proved itself that hand-in-hand work of machine and men can lead to incredible achievements. A company known as Fologram designed a software that facilitates the construction of complex shapes with blocks, these kind of shapes are usually avoided by architects because very few teams can actually manage to create these complex designs. An extreme control and extraordinary consistency are needed to be able to create them, also, these types of constructions require a lot of time and money.
This software is an easy way of rapidly replicating organic and complex block designs with the help of a Virtual Reality headpiece. The way this program works is quite simple, the Fologram's application takes a file created in the modeling program known as 3D Rhino and basically translates it to instructions that are projected through the headpiece. This helps construction teams to see real time where each block has to be placed in order to create the structure.
The cameras and positioning of the headpiece's sensors indicate the simplest way to construct the structor by signaling where the first line of bricks has to be placed and from there it analyses the precise angle of the following layers and adapts its instructions in accordance to the construction of the structure. While other companies have used robotic arms to achieve complex designs, Fologram's team considers that it doesn't matter how sophisticated the algorithm behind the machine, these don't have the ability to adapt to the unpredictable conditions that are present in most work sites.
"Even algorithms present in the most sophisticated computers cannot match the ability and intuition of an experienced worker."
Reports have been communicating that a number of jobs might be substituted by machines, it's expected for the construction industry to be affected by this but there are also a number of companies like Fologram which acknowledge the value of the working force because of their knowledge and intuition when it comes to manual labor. Another company that is aware of the invaluable experience of workmen is Construction Robotics. This company dedicates itself to equipping workers with tools that actually enhance their work, not substitute them.
Companies like these consider that even though manual labor is very important, technology can actually help improve their work and promote a more efficient work time table without replacing workers. With the number of robots being used to perform repetitive work that were once done by workmen, there are to routs companies can take, they can either replace completely the workforce or a better alternative, guide and provide them with tools that make their jobs easier, safer and cost effective.