Robotics are used as autonomous construction equipment.

Careers in Robotics
Robotics Careers in Construction

Construction robots combine the challenges of autonomous vehicles, off-road robots, and factory manipulation robots, but their impact can be massive. Construction sites are unstructured compared to a factory floor, which means robots must contend with rough terrain, variable weather, and irregular building materials. Construction robots need to be more general purpose than their manufacturing counterparts since buildings are more customized and lower volume than manufactured goods. Many construction robots will also need to be reconfigurable and navigate autonomously, manipulate imprecise materials in uncontrolled conditions, and work alongside humans and other machines. 

How would a roboticist function in this industry?

Construction is a relatively new industry to embrace robotics, and many companies in the field are focused on robotics in a research and development capacity. That means that a roboticist will likely have more opportunities to work at a proof-of-concept level as opposed to pure product development for mass production. In either case, it is imperative that a roboticist is up-to-date with cutting edge algorithms and trends to help demonstrate how robotics can be incorporated and then be able to implement their use.

How does MSR prepare students for this field?

MSR students learn how to make robots navigate and how to interpret unstructured environments using machine learning techniques. Students have the opportunity to integrate their navigation and robotic manipulation skills into several mobile-manipulation platforms in the MSR program — similar to what would be needed for a full-fledged construction robot. 

How is robotics used / applied in this industry?

Robotics are used as autonomous construction equipment, such as brick laying, or tools with smart features that help guide workers and make their jobs more efficient.  

Where our students have interned or our alumni have worked

  • Hilti Group


Photo of Abhishek Patil

Abhishek Patil

MSR '16, SLAM Engineer / Computer Vision 3D, Hilti Group

Abhishek Patil is a SLAM engineer at Hilti Group, a company that provides the construction industry with technologically-leading products, systems, software, and services.

In that role, Patil has a front-row seat to the integration of robotics within the construction industry. He helps lead the implementation and enhancement of state-of-the-art algorithms in 3D computer vision and SLAM, works with a cross-functional team, and collaborates with members of the company's business unit.

"My role involves the development of next generation 3D reality capture systems for the construction industry, where I am playing a key role in defining the requirements and deliverables for final products," he said. "It is a very innovative environment that is exciting and highly challenging."

Read more about Abhishek's work