Wednesday, January 09, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, January 8 2008] Robots to Build High Rises by 2010

By 2010 it looks like robots will take over some of the work of building high-rise towers. This new building technology is expected to bring down the number of injuries at high-rise construction sites and also cut down on the time spent on building them. It may only be a matter of years before robots take over such death-defying work. So says the Construction and Transportation Ministry, which announced that it now has the core technology for building high-rises without human workers.

The ministry says it is going ahead with the process of applying the technology to nuts-and-bolts building projects. It will create a construction process almost totally automated, taking advantage of 12 high-tech patents including so-called "intelligent" cranes and the world's first bolt-tightening robots.

Not surprisingly, the robot-led system is expected to cut labor costs by up to one-third and start-to-finish project time by around 15 percent. Add it all up and experts say it will boost overall productivity by an impressive 25 percent.

Consider the 69-story Tower Palace, a lavish residential complex in southern Seoul that took 33 months to complete. With the new technology's touch, it could have been finished five months sooner.

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