ACR introduces IronBot, its second autonomous robot for the construction industry
IronBot is a rebar placement robot that is designed to lift, carry and place rebar in horizontal reinforced concrete applications, alleviating a backbreaking task for workers and freeing them to accelerate other tasks on the construction project.
ACR has and will continue to launch new reliable products into the market that will increase safety and help construction firms to grow their business through improving the productivity of their existing work force. This was highlighted in ACR's first commercial product, TyBot, an autonomous rebar-tying robot. The use of TyBot on bridge projects was often met with the inquiry from construction firms, "when are you making a robot to place the rebar." This request is becoming a reality.
In bridge construction, a team of workers, lifts, carries, and bends in unison to place the long and awkward rebar into position on the bridge deck. This laborious task's difficulty and safety risks increase as workers walk on irregular mats of rebar.
Much like TyBot, IronBot provides a solution for the industry wide challenge of finding skilled workers in a scarce labor market. IronBot eases the high level of physical exertion and repetitive movement for the worker, providing fewer injuries and making it possible for workers to extend the longevity of their careers. The Center for Construction Research and Training estimates ironworkers perform these repetitive tasks more than 70% of the time. The robot can function without interruption day or night adding to the ability to keep a project on schedule.
ACR intends to move IronBot to a commercialization phase in 2020.
ACR was co-founded in 2016 by Stephen Muck, Chairman and CEO of Brayman Construction Corporation and Jeremy Searock, formerly of Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center. The duo's vision is to utilize robotics and artificial intelligence to innovate and commercialize a wide range of autonomous products to lead the long-term transformation of the construction industry towards enhanced productivity, improved safety, increased profits, and reduced schedule risk. They see a future of robots and workers teaming together to meet the rising demand for infrastructure improvements.