Last Friday, the ConTechTrio aired episode 55 of the podcast in which James Benham (@JamesmBenham), Rob McKinney (@Conappguru) and Josh Bone (@BIM2theBone) discussed the latest construction tech news. Headliners last week included Apple AirPods, Milwaukee ONE-KEY tool security features, Komastsu adopting artificial intelligence technologies, Matterport and Procore’s integration, Microsoft’s training software for autonomous drones and much more! Special guest Darren Roos, Corporate BIM/VDC Director at Bernards, also joined to discuss lessons learned in BIM coordination.
Tech You Should Try:
Apple AirPods – Changing the way you use headphones! Apple’s new AirPods automatically turn on when they are placed in your ear as well as pause what you are listening to the second you remove one from your ear. These wireless AirPods are convenient, lightweight and last around four hours which makes them perfect for conference calls on the go.
Weekly ConTechTrio Twitter Poll:
Last Week’s Poll: Are you familiar with Common Data Environments (CDE) to collect, manage and share project information online? The poll resulted in 71% “Yes we manage info online,” 21% “We use something like CDE” and 8% “What is CDE?”
This Week’s Poll: What is the most common reoccurring issue you face during the BIM coordination process? Visit the ConTechTrio Twitter page and choose from the following answers “Aligning to a common origin” “Keeping track of models” “Latency in coordination” or “Other.”
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Construction Tech News:
Industry Education, Insights & Trends
Marla McIntyre provides a rundown of upcoming products, software and partnerships in the construction technology industry. Marla discuses the Kespry Drone 2 System which delivers four to six times more accuracy than the previous Kespry drone due to the use of a global navigation satellite system. The Azuga Asset Tracker was also mentioned in this rundown as well as Earth Networks Sferic Maps, Dexter + Chaney spectrum ticketing solution, Trimble tech lab giving back to the academic community, and much more!
Several new startups are giving employers a vivid picture of how office environments are able to track everything their employers do whether they like it or not. This article mentions how a five year old start up company called Humanyze created badges that take smart sensors to a new level. These humanyze badges have radio frequency identification, near field communication sensors, as well as, Bluetooth infrared detectors, an accelerometer, and two microphones.
Kelly Cone, the Vice President of Product Management at ClearEdge 3D discusses, in his opinion, which technology solutions are mature enough to use and what to expect next with technology. This article touched on the following topics: the democratization of 3D capture, 3D data processing and machine learning, improving absolute accuracy, and VR and AR in AEC. The ConTechTrio tied this article in with the massive 60 to 80 percent price reduction in purchasing 3D printers.
Construction Junkie explains the continuous upgrades of the Milwaukee ONE-KEY. This comprehensive smart tool application now has integrated tool security. The added tool security includes the ability to hide your tool from prying eyes, disabling your tool at the end of the work day, locking the footpad to prevent tampering with customized settings, and remotely shutting your tool off the next time it comes within range of the ONE-KEY app.
Komastsu is adopting artificial intelligence technologies to their smart construction services. This adoption of artificial intelligence can suggest where it is best to excavate and helps construction supervisors complete their job tasks more efficiently and rapidly. Due to the Japanese construction sector slowly declining, Komastsu’s use of artificial intelligence is a way to gain knowledge and improve productivity on the job site.
Partnerships & Acquisitions
Field and office coordination just got a major boost! The Matterport and Procore integration provides complete milestone documentation solutions, ability to view an entire job site with a single walk through, and increases the quality of collaboration with fully immersive imagery. Users have the ability to scan in Matterport and use the URL of the scan to copy and paste in Procore which then allows users to automatically update their team when new scans are ready to be viewed. “Pay very close attention to Matterport, they gave me a teaser that is coming out soon that you don’t want to miss!” – Josh Bone
Drones & UAV’s
Say goodbye to rush hour traffic, passenger-carrying drones are soon to be operating in the skies over Dubai. Emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has been working alongside Ehang, a Chinese firm, to create taxis via drones to transport passengers across the Dubai skyline. Watch this video of the Ehang 184 flight test to see how it operates.
Microsoft created a beta version training software for autonomous drones. This software recreates conditions like shadows, reflections and other confusing real world elements in a realistic virtual reality environment. For all you construction technologists out there this software is available on GitHub today! “This is huge for construction safety training and visualization!” – James Benham
Drive.ai is an autonomous vehicle system startup that created video footage of their self driving car on the streets of California during a rainy night. Drive.ai proves that it is possible to have driver-less cars at nighttime with inclement weather situations. Click here to watch the video of this Drive.ai autonomous vehicle handle these tough conditions and make decisions similar to the human brain.
Apple Inc. is working on a futuristic campus build in Cupertino, California. Apple’s new headquarters has a project price tag estimated around $5 billion dollars. Steve Jobs oversaw the design process of the campus with great attention to detail. This ‘spaceship’ campus contains the largest piece of curved glass which resembles the iPhone. Apple is turning a construction process into a work of art.
Engineers at University of Colorado at Boulder developed a thin artificially structured “meta-material” that has the ability to cool objects without using water or energy. This thin film uses a process known as “passive cooling” which vents object’s heat through thermal radiation while bouncing off solar energy. This is another construction material you have to keep our eye on!
Ecovative, a green island-based startup has $14 million dollars in funding to create a particle board material that is less expensive and more sustainable than traditional particle boards. By mixing mycelium and agricultural waste and putting it in a simple plastic mold for a few days you can create compressed material that can serve as an alternative to furnishing your home or office. This recyclable material is available today on Amazon for only $15 dollars.
BAM Nuttall is trialing a new safety hard hat that measures brain activity and triggers an alarm when workers suffer mental fatigue. This SmartCap technology is possible due to a sensor fitted into the inside of the safety helmets that provides fatigue alerts wireless to an app, as the risk of micro sleep is identified. With 94.7% accuracy, BAM believes this is crucial technology that will protect lives and increase safety on the job site. (You can even use the sensor without wearing the hat!)
[INTERVIEW] Darren Roos, Corporate BIM/VDC Director at Bernards, Discusses Lessons Learned in BIM Coordination.
In the second half of the podcast, Darren Roos, Director of the BIM/VDC department at Bernards joined the ConTechTrio to discuss lessons learned in BIM coordination. Darren was born and raised in southeast Idaho right around the corner from Yellowstone National Park. Darren graduated from Brigham Young University with a mechanical engineering degree and then attended Weber State University for post graduation.
After working eight years in manufacturing Darren was drawn to the construction industry about 13 years ago in hopes of reducing the waste and inefficiencies that he saw throughout the industry. Darren took the technology he learned in manufacturing to help the construction industry become more efficient. (Fun Fact: When Darren is bored on a work trip he will go to Home Depot and buy construction materials and fix/improve the hotel rooms he stays in.)
At Bernards, Darren’s job is to make sure technology is carried out through all the departments, as well as, create BIM as a culture on the jobsite. By investing in mobile technology, Darren is striving to get models in more hands in the field. In the podcast, Darren discusses how BIMTrack is a game changer on project coordination. Darren and the ConTechTrio wrapped up the interview by talking about BIM execution plans, five key takeaways of the BIM coordination process, effective BIM adoption techniques and the continuous improvements of the construction industry.
Tune into the ConTechTrio podcast next week for Episode 56, featuring Tim Sheppard from Caterpillar Inc, discussing indestructible smartphones! Until then, you can catch up on past episodes of our construction technology podcast and even check out some bonus episodes via the links below!
Follow On Twitter:
James Benham: @JamesMBenham
Josh Bone: @BIM2theBone
Rob McKinney: @conappguru