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Autonomous robot helps Ferrovial with faster stakeouts

by Mark Cantrell
Ferrovial is using autonomous stakeout robots to improve productivity on its construction sites

The use of autonomous robots to plot the layout of construction sites is leading to improvements in productivity, says Ferrovial.

The company has adopted a so-called stakeout robot in its construction projects to plot complex layouts on the ground. This is said to provide more accurate topographic measurements.

According to Ferrovial, the device is capable of accurately marking thousands of coordinates per day, replicating the lines, marks and texts defined in a CAD file. It can also correct design errors in real time.

As such, it provides “invaluable” support for workers on large construction sites, helping to avoid delays.

The company says its goal is to optimise stakeout time and design quality to increase productivity on construction sites ten-fold.

In addition to reducing stakeout time, the company says these robots are also proving their worth when it comes to reducing the risks involved in conventional staking out methods in hazardous areas.

This represents a “clear advantage” for the construction industry, it adds.

All stakeout robots on the market have similar features although, depending on the size and thickness of their tires, as well as the precision of the lines, they may be more suitable for indoor works or for civil works.

Most of them can work on uneven terrain and are weather resistant, enabling them to operate normally in severe conditions. A stakeout robot must be connected to a total station theodolite (TST) or work directly using GPS.

A DXF or CAD file must be downloaded with a list of specific layers to be printed on the ground. Once configured, the robot starts to plot the structure on the ground, displaying progress via an online platform.

The robot can also provide additional reports and more specific measurements, making it a comprehensive digital ally on site, Ferrovial says.

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