Drones: Above and Below

Airline and helicopter pilots consider them dangerous; kids consider them toys; surveyors, miners, and construction project managers are starting to consider them essential. They, of course, are the small, camera-equipped UAS (unmanned aerial system) commonly called drones.

The small UAS market continues to develop, unmarred by the challenges of COVID-19. In fact, their involvement in the public response to the pandemic, along with the wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, has allowed drone companies to highlight their value. Global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, in its 2020 report Small Unmanned Aerial Systems: Annual Update, predicts strong growth of the industry with its

Spot Robot Dog Expands with Arm Attachment, Teams up With Drone, and more!

Image courtesy of Percepto

Spot, the popular yellow robotic dog/grasshopper from Boston Dynamics, was officially released for sale to anyone earlier this year and it continues to make new friends – and grow new limbs apparently.

Sticking with the theme of dogs being man’s best friend, spot has been busy making new friends with a drone and teaming up with construction technology powerhouse, Trimble. In 2021, you will have an option to buy an arm that will attach to the top of the robot right in the middle of its two front legs.

It’s been very interesting

Securing Construction Data during COVID-19

If you attended our Constructech Technology Days event last month, then you had the privilege of hearing one of our presenters—Scott Schober, Berkeley Varitronics—speak about how to have good cyber hygiene in the age of COVID-19. He so accurately highlighted three different areas we need to take cybersecurity measures right now. I want to examine what he talked about during his presentation and build on it for this column.

First, let’s back up. We already know there is increased security risk due to remote work. Employers at 66% of companies took work devices home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we

The CAT S42 Rugged Smartphone – Tough, But Is That Enough?

CAT S42 Rugged Smartphone

The jobsite can be a pretty tough place to be a smartphone. Moisture, dust, high and low temperatures, and drops on hard surfaces have been the demise of many, no matter how much you might spend on a proper case.  CAT phones has been producing rugged phones tough enough for the jobsite for several years and has recently released an economical version to fit any budget.

The CAT S42 Overview

First things first, let’s set the expectations.  This phone retails for $299 (currently $262.40 on Amazon), so it’s not competing with the newest iPhone

Technology Beyond Human Use?

We’ve written about the hyperloop “trains” of the future and how they will impact construction technology but the elephant in the room, the undiscussed issue, might very well be the impact on the humans who are onboard the hyperloop trains.

In recap, hyperloop is a proposed method of transportation that involves using pods, a variation on a space capsule, to send both people and cargo through a depressurized environment at speeds above 600 mph. Hyperloop technology uses magnetic levitation to lift a pod off the track, guiding it through a tunnel or tube that creates a friction-free environment.

The pods

Safe Site Check In’s Touch-Free, Paperless Check In and Health Screenings, Offer Post Pandemic Benefits

This article has been sponsored by Safe Site Check In. For more information, visit safesitecheckin.com

Historically, it has been pretty difficult to track who enters a construction site or building and when, which can pose a safety and health risk to your jobsite, especially during a global pandemic. Paper check in forms are ineffective and hard to track and other systems, like key card entry, require high up-front costs and hardware purchases.

Safe Site Check In, a new smartphone application, is aiming to make the jobsite sign-in process much safer

Transparent Wood Developed by US Researchers for More Efficient “Windows of the Future”

image via the USDA Forest Service

Wood, a notoriously opaque substance, has apparently been resting on its laurels for far too long and not reaching its full potential, a team of researchers from Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), the University of Maryland, and the University of Colorado believes.

The team has developed a process to remove the pigment from balsa wood, creating a completely transparent wood that they believe could be superior to glass in nearly every circumstance when used as windows. Their published findings, titled “A Clear, Strong, and Thermally Insulated Transparent Wood for Energy Efficient Windows,”

US Cuts Canadian Lumber Tariffs from 20% to 9% Amid Soaring Prices

Throughout the pandemic, contractors throughout the US saw lumber prices skyrocket for a variety of different reasons, including a huge increase in DIY and home remodeling projects, sawmill shut downs, and wildfires. In September, there wasn’t a lot of positivity about the situation getting better any time soon, but prices have slowly started to come back down to earth since then – though still much higher than normal.

Part of that recent price drop was due to the US Department of Commerce significantly decreasing tariffs imposed on Canadian softwood lumber, according to the NAHB. Originally imposed in 2017, the

[VIDEO] Nuclear Power Plant Site Utilizes 2 of the World’s Largest Cranes, and 55 Other Tower Cranes

via YouTube // EDF

2 years ago, crane manufacturer, Sarens, unveiled what is considered to be the world’s largest crane, by both size and lifting capacity.  Big Carl, as the huge crane was nicknamed, began work a few months later on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in England.  Now, the jobsite boasts an abundance of crane activity, a true site to behold, and it was captured on aerial footage for you to enjoy.

According to KHL, Big Carl will be accompanied by up to 55 tower cranes at the peak of construction, as well as

Toro Releases e-Dingo, an Electric Powered Compact Utility Loader for Indoor Jobs

courtesy of Toro

Indoor construction and commercial remodeling jobs require a unique subset of equipment: compact enough to get through tight, sometimes occupied spaces, while still having enough power to complete the job. Equipment that emits exhaust emissions can also be extremely dangerous in enclosed spaces, so ventilation is key, but can be hard to come by. Enter the e-Dingo, Toro’s newly released electronic compact utility loader.

The e-Dingo promises the same benefits and power of a standard utility loader, just without the fuel costs and dangerous emissions. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the machine has a