Machine guidance & surveying: the pillars of robotic construction

Machine guidance was the first technology to be deployed on construction sites about ten years ago, providing an initial response to contractors' needs in terms of safety and precision. With a rapid return on investment, these technologies are now widely used on worksites, with around 75% of bulldozers and 95% of graders equipped, as well as 25% of excavators, a market that is expanding rapidly. Today, these technologies are being extended to other types of machines such as drills, compactors and paving machines.

If the first generations of guidance systems brought machines into the age of optimisation and productivity, the new generations bring machines into the age of automation. With the rise of IMU sensors and new guidance platforms - such as TRIMBLE EARTHWORKS - automation that was once only available for dozers and graders is now possible on all machines, including excavators. This will increase machine operator productivity by more than 30%. 

The advent of augmented reality now allows the operator to have the position of the underground networks modelled in the project area permanently on the screen in order to minimise the risk of accidents. At the same time, on-board weighing allows operators to ensure optimal loading of trucks in order to standardize loading, secure transfers and adapt the fleet.


In surveying, the growth in the use of IMU sensors and new surveying platforms, such as TRIMBLE SITEWORKS, have had a major impact on the daily work of surveyors: easier pointing, 3D representation of the project and tactile navigation have increased productivity on the construction site. The trend towards aerial photogrammetry by drone also provides a more macro view of the progress of the site. This technique, which is very safe since it avoids having personnel on foot on the sites, allows topographic surveys to be carried out more frequently, more quickly and more accurately.

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