But that doesn’t mean smaller trades are avoiding technology since most are required to integrate with the technology used by their larger company employers.
But technology these days isn’t all desktop computer-based; some come on wheels or tracks. In that case, one approach available to any size company is equipment rental. Major vendors, such as Hilti, offer their tools for rent and even for “test drives.” And Hilti’s latest, the Jaibot semi-autonomous overhead ceiling drilling robot, is an example.
The Jaibot is a large piece of equipment on tracks that uses an extendable arm to hold the drill and locate the holes. Its steering is done by remote control, run by an operator, directing it to move from one location to the next. Once in the drilling area, Jaibot is referenced by a robotic total station, Hilti PLT 300, and automatically drills all holes within its reach.
The Jaibot is an easy-to-use system, which doesn’t require an expert’s skills to operate and can be fleeted from Hilti just as any standard Hilti tool. It is also offered on a short-term, project-based rental to allow customers to try it, learn about the workflow requirements of bringing a robot into the work schedule, and finding out what it means in terms of data preparation to feed the Hilti Jaibot with drilling data.
Jaibot executes its tasks based on BIM data, is completely cordless, locates itself accurately indoors, drills the holes dust-controlled, and marks them according to the trade. This is what makes the solution ideally suited for the MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) trades.
BIM-enabled robotic solutions also make the construction process more transparent with improved execution speed, constant performance, and fewer errors. Daily progress can be reported from the field to the project office via the cloud. Potential conflicts between the trades involved on a jobsite also can be detected at an early stage and then limited, resulting in more projects delivered on-time and within budget.
Jaibot allows realtime data upload and download for progress tracking from the Hilti cloud and has an offline work mode for areas without cellular network access, such as in basements. The required data input would be the drilling coordinates and hole specific information—trade/size, marking pattern, etc.
Safety played an important role in the development of the Jaibot. It is designed to assist tradespeople in physically demanding, repetitive installation tasks. Jaibot will take over the ceiling drilling and allow the workforce to focus on installations, making teams faster and more productive while delivering a more constant output.