dConstruct Robotics: Advancing the Future of Construction with Robotics and AI Innovation

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Jiayi Chong, CTO, dConstruct Robotics

In a world where technology has been swiftly transforming various industries, construction has often been seen as the reluctant follower when it comes to adopting advanced methods. The sector’s slower embrace of technology has raised questions about its ability to meet the growing demands for faster construction and higher-quality buildings. Though the industry has indeed made some strides with off-site manufacturing and prefabrication, there’s still much room for innovation. With a significant skills shortage and an increased demand for construction post-pandemic, the need for technology, both on and off the construction site, is more evident than ever. So, could robotics be the long-awaited solution to bridge this gap and usher in a new era of construction efficiency? – This question sprouted in the mind of Jiayi Chong, a visionary with a knack for innovation, as he sensed that the construction industry, with all its sweat and toil, urgently needed a jolt of efficiency and innovation.

Seeing the laborious manual toil that defined construction, he realized automation could be the game-changer the industry had been waiting for. With that spark of inspiration, Jiayi set out on a quest that ultimately led him to cofound dConstruct Robotics, a global award-winning, Singapore-based company committed to delivering customizable and consistent autonomous navigation solutions for mobile robotics applications. Looking at the transformative impact of robotics in other industries, Jiayi envisioned the possibilities in construction. His goal was clear: To create a fleet of robots that could effortlessly scope out construction sites, process the data they gathered, gear up with whatever tools were needed, and get to work—all on their own.

Turning dreams into reality requires more than just ambition. Jiayi knew he needed a team of brilliant minds to breathe life into his vision. He assembled a diverse team of talented engineers, creative designers, and construction experts who shared his passion for innovation. Together, they dreamed big, took small steps, and didn’t let failures hold them back. Slowly but surely, their vision began to take tangible form. Now, their robots could autonomously navigate, convert scans into digital blueprints, decipher complex scenes, and manage a wide array of sensors with ease. As the next logical step, they teamed up with construction companies for trial runs and showcased the remarkable capabilities of their robots. And the result? It was a notable success; they successfully put their robots to work, leading autonomous robots’ contribution to construction. “From just a simple idea to making a real impact, dConstruct Robotics paved the way for mixing innovation with construction smarts to improve the industry,” Jiayi confidently claims.

Enabling Smarter Construction with SACO Framework

dConstruct opened its doors in 2021 serving as a start-up committed to making robots smarter. At the core of their innovation lies the Scan-Analyze-Configure-Operate (SACO) methodology, an original approach that’s reshaping the construction industry through their d.ASH Platform. Primarily, their robots operate as highly capable scouts. Equipped with specialized sensors resembling advanced visual systems, they navigate construction sites, meticulously capturing intricate details. This scanning process contributes to the creation of comprehensive digital maps, encompassing structures such as walls, beams and pipes. This data is then transmitted to a dedicated workstation installed with dConstruct’s software to undertake data analysis, swiftly generating digital blueprints. By scrutinizing these scans, their software interprets spatial arrangements, dimensions, and potential concerns, unveiling hidden insights.

Once the situation is decoded, these versatile robots are then configured for mission execution. Depending on the specific assignment, they can be equipped with various payloads, transforming into autonomous assistants tailored for different roles. Finally, in the operate phase, robots armed with acquired information and attached payloads, proficiently complete missions. Their contributions range from area mapping for construction progress tracking to object identification and workplace safety monitoring. The ability to analyze design to as-built environment gives stakeholders assurance on quality compliance of the construction project. “The scan-analyze-configure-operate framework guides robots to become pivotal autonomous construction agents, substantially redefining established norms. Their enhanced speed, intelligence and flexibility simplify complex missions,” elucidates Jiayi.

Crafting Success through a Winning Approach

When it comes to staying ahead of the curve, dConstruct Robotics has a winning formula built on a dynamic blend of visionary strategy and effective leadership. At the heart of their triumph lies forward-thinking strategies that not only help them seize emerging opportunities but also ensure they stay at the forefront of their industry. But it’s not just strategy that propels dConstruct forward; effective leadership has also played a pivotal role in their success story. At dConstruct, they’ve cultivated a culture of innovation, where everyone on the team is encouraged to put on their thinking caps, take calculated risks, and bring fresh ideas to the table. Their leaders don’t just steer the ship; they provide clear guidance and unwavering support for the team’s growth, creating an environment where every voice is heard, and every idea is valued.

Besides this, the company’s key strength also lies in developing robots that solve real challenges such as streamlining tasks and enhancing safety. And they don’t go it alone; forging partnerships with construction giants gives them invaluable insights and helps fine-tune their solutions. Furthermore, their deep understanding of the regulatory landscape instils trust in their clients. They navigate safety and compliance measures with confidence, emphasizing reliability and performance, even in complex construction scenarios. “In essence, a proactive strategy, adaptable leadership, innovation-focused culture, practical solutions, strategic partnerships, regulatory proficiency, and robust reliability form the cornerstone of our success. By embodying these qualities, we can navigate the dynamic construction industry and position dConstruct at the forefront of innovation,” adds Jiayi.

Paving a New Era in Robotics Innovation

Peering into the future, Jiayi envisions boundless opportunities within the realm of robotics, poised to crucially impact our lives, industries, and societal structures. What excites him the most is the amalgamation of intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) and agile mechatronics, a fusion that is set to empower autonomous robots with unprecedented capabilities, from enhanced perception to refined decision-making and rapid learning. Jiayi believes that these advancements will empower these robots to seamlessly adapt to new situations across a multitude of industries, autonomously tackling complex tasks with unmatched precision.

However, as the world of robotics continues to evolve, there arises a growing demand for a skilled workforce capable of harnessing this potential. Thus, under the aegis of Jiayi, dConstruct is collaborating with universities to develop robotics curricula that bridge the gap between education and real-world applications. This approach aims to nurture talent and co-create the next generation of autonomous robots, with additional solutions like digital twins and sustainability management. Their innovative platform promises to push the boundaries in the last-mile delivery industry, optimizing logistics and enhancing customer satisfaction. They’re even planning carbon-footprint scanning in Singapore. As dConstruct relocates to its expansive 40,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Punggol Digital District, Singapore’s emerging smart district, its vision is to establish Singapore as a premier robotics hub for industries, delivering cutting-edge robotics products and services.

To facilitate this, dConstruct plans to provide workshops, training programs, and product demonstrations, fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration and building new connections. Beyond Singapore, dConstruct aspires to expand its presence into Southeast Asia, South Korea, and Japan. With these strategic initiatives in its pipeline, dConstruct is forging ahead in robotics innovation, building smarter robots for a better world.

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