Hello, everyone. Time for our weekly roundup of articles at the intersection of building information modeling (BIM); artificial intelligence (AI); and the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space. Here goes:
We talk extensively about new technology available in the construction industry, how it influences processes and workflows, and how it saves time and money in terms of the bottom line; but how does it influence investors? A recent article in Sourceable posits that tech's impact on cost effectiveness and reliability will make construction projects more attractive to outside investors. It specifically points to data analytics, cloud computing, and pre-fab and additive manufacturing as key influencers for "enhancing the lustre of construction projects in the eyes of investors by cutting down risk and increasing predictability, thus expanding the flow of capital to the sector in general."
New technology is constantly evolving and innovating at the push of a button. (Source: Sourceable)
The sources of that "flow of capital," however, are now sources of speculation since the Brexit vote in the UK last week. Industries worldwide are wondering how the move will impact the broader market in the days and weeks to come, and Rob McManamy offers his thoughts on what it means for AEC in particular. "2016 already had meant historic disruption for architects, engineers and contractors in the UK, what with this spring's nationwide mandate for the use of building information modeling (BIM) on all government projects. But that earthquake was years in the making, so AEC firms had plenty of time to prepare for the new normal that arrived earlier this year. Britain's exit (aka 'Brexit') from the EU, however, was an outcome for which few in any industry were prepared." While the level of industry disruption is uncertain, McManamy highlights the concerned yet determined viewpoints of several high-profile UK architects and engineers who are set on solidarity, resiliency, and finding a way forward.
The final verdict is still out but opinions are in full swing. (Source: BuiltWorlds)
Disruption is, after all, a tenet of our time, and BIM technologies continue to make waves across the AEC sector. One of the most recent changes is the introduction ofRedpoint Positioning to the Autodesk Forge platform. Engineering.com describes how Redpoint provides "indoor GPS" to construction projects, which allows managers and supervisors to track people, equipment, and assets in real-time. "This real-time data was used to improve industrial worker efficiency and safety with 8-inch location accuracy through the use of the company's SafetyNet battery-powered worker safety badges and wireless asset tags for equipment and tools." Project managers can also use the system's stored historical data to compare projected time estimates against what's really happening in the field and adjust accordingly.
Redpoint's indoor GPS system in action. (Source: Engineering.com)
How far down the road until AI is making those adjustments? Popular Science recently reported on an AI system that can beat a renowned human fighter pilot, so those days may be closer than we think. The AI uses a "genetic fuzzy tree" decision-making system that "approaches complex problems much like a human would... breaking the larger task into smaller subtasks. By considering only the most relevant variables, it can make complex decisions with extreme speed." While "dogfighting" may not seem relevant to the construction industry in general, the quick problem-solving and adjustment capabilities needed to beat a competent fighter pilot could prove invaluable on hazardous job sites.
Simulated air combat pits artificial intelligence against a retired Air Force colonel. (Source: Popular Science)
Not up for taking on a world-class fighter pilot? How about a yo-yo champion? Yo-yo enthusiast (and veritable yo-yo rock star) Ben Conde does his set of tricks with a yo-yo that isn't even attached to a string. Check it out on Conde's YouTube channel and see how it all works at Gizmodo Sploid. Have a great week!
Ben Conde making yo-yo magic. Be sure to check out the video link above to see him in action! Pictures don't do this guy justice. (Source: YouTube)