Evolutions in computer vision and AI technology are about to disrupt the construction industry on a global scale. The construction industry is constantly seeking for better equipment and more efficient machines to improve work productivity. However, the rate of technological and innovation adoption has been slow.
Looking at construction projects today, I do not see much difference in the execution of the work in comparison to 50 years ago.
Construction works often face problems in tracking progress, low productivity, safety compliance, and wastage. These problems can be avoided by adopting computer vision technology at worksites.
This article aims to help you to better understand how we can apply computer vision at construction sites and what are the benefits of doing so.
What is Computer Vision?
Computer vision is a computer science and artificial intelligence (AI) field that allows computers to recognize and comprehend visual images and videos. Specifically, computer vision can perform tasks in the same manner as human vision. This including “seeing” and interpreting the images, and provide useful insights. The technology creates neural networks that aid systems in image processing, with the use of cameras, sensors, cloud-based software, deep learning algorithms, and AI technology. Once the model is fully trained, the system will be able to perform facial, body, and object recognition.
What are the Applications of Computer Vision at Construction Worksites?
1. Monitoring Progress at Worksites
For the construction industry, it is often a tedious process for project managers to provide accurate and up-to-date progress reviews as workplace monitoring is done manually and physically. The inaccurate review is due to frequent deviations from the projected timeline, rework of defects and late acknowledgment of these deviations. As a result, it restricts the ability of the businesses to take prompt mitigating steps. This would also lead to severe financial and reputational consequences.
Large-scale projects on average experience 20 months delay in completion and 80% over budget.
Source: McKinsey & Company
Instead of being physically present at the worksite, you can now monitor remotely. This helps you to eliminate manual and laborious inspections. Furthermore, technology provides a more accurate review of the project progress and provides real-time visibility on project quality and development. This means that you will be able to detect and rectify the defects and mistakes immediately, which would minimize delays in your project.
Overall, remote and real-time monitoring will give you better accuracy on your project progress. As such, allowing you to take action immediately to bring projects back on course and achieve better cost control.
2. Monitoring Workers
According to Turner and Townsend International construction market survey (ICMS) in 2018, labor shortages are becoming an issue for the construction industry globally. Furthermore, the ICMS in 2019 also noted that two-thirds of the 64 global markets surveyed are facing a skills shortage.
The construction industry is currently facing a significant manpower shortage globally. Thus, it is important to utilize human resources efficiently. Moreover, inefficient coordination of the labor force and task delegation can also result in significant costs.
On top of monitoring the workplace, computer vision can too monitor the presence of your workers through facial and body recognition. The technology allows you to oversee the workers’ productivity and identify workers’ idle time. As a result, you can improve workflow by removing any bottlenecks and idle time, thus better utilizing human resources. Over time, the deep learning algorithms will be able to provide you optimal planning in manpower coordination and task delegation.
3. Ensuring Safety Compliance
All construction workers are required to practice safety measures and wear personal protective equipment (PPE). However, it is difficult for the safety inspectors to enforce safety compliance 24/7 with just manual monitoring. Also, construction workers generally face higher risks of death and work injuries due to the nature of work. Hence, it is important to ensure safety compliance amongst the construction workers.
Computer vision can be used to identify if there are any breaches of PPE or other safety compliance. At any time, the system will be able to identify if the workers are wearing their PPE such as helmet, proper footwear, and high visibility vest at the worksites. Should there be any safety breach, it will not go unnoticed as the safety inspectors will be alerted. Safety inspectors can also take the necessary actions immediately before any incidents happen.
Also, safe distancing and mask-wearing can be detected using computer vision in this particular pandemic period. To prevent spreading, governments have put in place additional safety measures at workplaces, including construction sites. Workers are now required to keep a safe social distance of at least 1 meter and masks should be worn at all times. Hence, computer vision can also detect such breaches and alert safety inspectors.
4. Reducing material wastage
Material management is an important aspect of project management as they account for the majority cost input in construction. Improper management of material used during a project can result in high and avoidable costs. For instance, cement is often wasted at construction sites due to poor storage and handling. Specifically, workers tend to use only materials that are close to their work area and excess materials stored at other levels will be wasted.
There is a way for you to minimize this material wastage with computer vision. The technology can help you to track materials stored on site. Not only will this help you to improve project performance by identifying the under-utilized materials, it will also help you to reduce material wastage and result in better cost control over time.
Move Construction Work into a New Era with groundup.ai
In summary, computer vision technology gives you the opportunity to perform remote and real-time monitoring of the workplace and workers, ensure safety compliance, and reduce material wastage. Ultimately, implementing computer vision at construction worksites will help you to improve in the project progress tracking, increase productivity, ensure a safe working environment, and achieve cost efficiency.
At groundup.ai, we will support and guide you through the process of implementing such systems into your business. Using computer vision, AI, and deep learning algorithms, we can efficiently leverage data to gain valuable insights and create evolutionary changes to your construction project management. Furthermore, we develop customizable AI solutions to fit your strategic needs and wants.
Have a chat with us to see how we can help you to achieve better efficiency in your construction project management.
Request a call from us today!