New artificial intelligence technologies at use in Europe can seamlessly track a project’s progress and see if it is falling behind schedule.
The consulting company McKinsey estimates that on-site mismanagement costs global construction $1.6 trillion a year. Despite this massive loss of capital, most construction sites have minimal management—a building project with 1500 rooms might have only five managers, says Roy Danon, founder and CEO of the tech company Buildots.
He proposes that AI can help with that gap. Buildots is an image recognition system that monitors every detail of a construction project. It sends up red flags if anything is going wrong—either built out of accordance with plans or not staying on schedule. The program, a joint British and Israeli company is already being used in Europe’s two largest construction companies.
The image recognition system comes from GoPro cameras mounted on managers’ hardhats, and when they tour the site, it captures footage of the project and uploads it to the system. From there, it can track everything from beams and girders down to individual outlets and fittings. The software can track 150,000 objects several times a week, rating them on their installation status.
The point is to have the software handling the small details and have workers able to focus on the more significant issues. “That’s the job people want to be doing—not having to go and check if the walls have been painted or if someone’s drilled too many holes in the ceiling,” said Sophie Morris, an engineer at Buildots.