Construction inspection & monitoring with quadruped robots in future human-robot teaming: A preliminary study

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Construction inspection and monitoring are key activities in construction projects. Automation of inspection tasks can address existing limitations and inefficiencies of the manual process to enable systematic and consistent construction inspection. However, there is a lack of an in-depth understanding of the process of construction inspection and monitoring and the tasks and sequences involved to provide the basis for task delegation in a human-technology partnership. The purpose of this research is to study the conventional process of inspection and monitoring of construction work currently implemented in construction projects and to develop an alternative process using a quadruped robot as an inspector assistant to overcome the limitations of the conventional process. This paper explores the use of quadruped robots for construction inspection and monitoring with an emphasis on a human-robot teaming approach. Technical development and testing of the robotic technology are not in the scope of this study. The results indicate how inspector assistant quadruped robots can enable a human-technology partnership in future construction inspection and monitoring tasks. The research was conducted through on-site experiments and observations of inspectors during construction inspection and monitoring followed by a semi-structured interview to develop a process map of the conventional construction inspection and monitoring process. The study also includes on-site robot training and experiments with the inspectors to develop an alternative process map to depict future construction inspection and monitoring work with the use of an inspector assistant quadruped robot. Both the conventional and alternative process maps were validated through interview surveys with industry experts against four criteria including, completeness, accuracy, generalizability, and comprehensibility. The findings suggest that the developed process maps reflect existing and future construction inspection and monitoring work.

Construction inspection, Construction automation, Quadruped robots, Construction monitoring, Human-technology partnership