Current uses of computers in construction include design, planning, scheduling, and cost estimating. Much more could be achieved on a fully computer integrated construction site. This paper describes initial work at NIST toward construction site integration and automation, beginning with a simple steel erection procedure using an instrumented crane. CAD-generated geometry sets are transformed into a library of 3D construction site objects. These objects are then loaded into an augmented simulation system that tracks both equipment and resources based on real-time data from the construction site. With some future enhancements, the end results will be a world model of the site in which as-built conditions can be assessed, current construction processes can be viewed as they occur, planned sequences of processes can be tested, and object information can be retrieved on demand. A project can be viewed and managed remotely using this tool. Remotely controlled construction in hazardous environments is a natural extension of this environment. The National Construction Automation Testbed (NCAT) is currently being used in various research projects with the intentions of making such possibilities a reality. A major effort in the NCAT is the development and testing of the metrology, communication, and simulation protocols required.
Citation: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue: No. 2
Pub Type: Journals
augmented simulation, construction automation, equipment tracking, information exchange, metrology, remote-controlled construction, resource tracking, virtual reality