Last Wednesday at Bauma, the world’s leading construction machinery trade fair, Advanced Construction Robotics (ACR) announced to an international audience its next robotic construction solution: IronBot – a rebar placement robot that is designed to lift, carry and place rebar in horizontal reinforced concrete applications.

The robot can function without interruption, day or night, and eases the high level of physical exertion and repetitive movement for the worker.

The Center for Construction Research and Training estimates iron workers perform repetitive tasks more than 70 percent of the time. ACR aims to create solutions that reduce injuries and create the possibility for workers to extend the longevity of their careers.

IronBot follows ACR’s first commercial product, TyBot – an autonomous rebar-tying robot. Both products have been designed to increase safety and help construction firms to grow their business through improving the productivity of their existing workforce.

The use of TyBot on bridge projects was met with the inquiry from construction firms that asked “When are you making a robot to place the rebar?”. 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 is difficult 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 labour market. ACR intends to commercialise IronBot in 2020.

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