It's been a year of technology and innovation, as every industry has worked to find solutions, or at least workarounds, for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early in the year, there was much talk about how the construction industry was slow to adopt technology. Boy, has that been changing! Steve Matson, director of project management at Milwaukee Tool talks about how using sensors, IoT platforms, artificial intelligence and similar technologies can improve productivity and safety.
Rebar tying robots, software platforms and artificial intelligence road monitoring solutions are just some of the newest technologies discussed in one of our most popular articles of the year.
At No. 8 is a video that explains how Cat Paving Products introduced new thermal mapping for asphalt pavers. See how Cat Paving Products is working hard to mitigate poor mat quality with thermal temperature mapping on asphalt pavers along with the eRoutes app for asphalt paving which helps control the paving operation.
In this article, Pavement Editor Jessica Lombardo talks to Todd Mansell at CONEXPO CON-AGG 2020 about a helpful paving tool, grade and slope technology. "It is common practice to have right and left side screed operators on a paving project. When using G&S, often only one screed operator is needed where two may otherwise be required," Mansell says.
In our sixth most popular construction tech story, Trimble’s Aviad Almagor details how autonomous robotics can help contractors in the construction industry improve processes. From robotic mowers in lawn care to autonomous equipment in construction, robotics are now being developed and utilized to maximize productivity in virtually every industry.
No. 5: SkyTy Rebar-Tying Drones
No surprise that the use of drones on the construction site was of high interest to readers in 2020. SkyTy is a swarm of drones that automate rebar tying for concrete flatwork and other slabs. It consists of a control station and a swarm of drones.
Published before the pandemic was in full-swing, this story by OEM Off-Highway Editor Sara Jensen highlights how more manufacturers are developing electric powered construction equipment to meet increasing emissions regulations and provide efficiency improvements.
Readers were also interested in learning more about remote and autonomous equipment this year. As Curt Bennink writes, "Remote control of construction equipment continues to gain acceptance as the technology continues to advance. In addition, semi-autonomous features are emerging and autonomous construction machines are just over the horizon."
In our No. 2 spot, Spencer Chin writes about how emerging technologies enable operators to survey and plan construction projects and perform various tasks. A few of the technologies he covers are BIM, augmented reality and drones.
Published in April, this article by Ryan Remkes from AboutTime Technologies discussed how the construction industry can mitigate damage and stay stable by using technology and remote strategies. "To survive and thrive beyond COVID-19, contractors must find better ways today to collect and share field data and deploy agile cloud-based resource management solutions that allow contractors to rapidly respond to any project issues with real-time data," Remkes writes.
Those are the top 10 stories of 2020. We hoped you enjoyed them as much as we did!