Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

The Smart Construction Site Of The Future

In his 1998 novel Distraction, sf author Bruce Sterling writes about smart construction sites that are essentially self-organizing. Making use of talking tape, which is a combination of wireless RFID tag, transceiver and GPS locator, the Bambakias Hotel practically builds itself:

Oscar peeled a strip of tape from a yellow spool and wrapped the tape around a cinder block. He swept a hand-scanner over the block, activating the tape... "I'm a cornerstone," the cinder block announced.

"Good for you," Oscar grunted.

"I'm a cornerstone. Carry me five steps to your left." The construction system was smart enough to manage a limited and specific vocabulary.
(Read more from Talking Tape from Distraction)

In the novel, everything on the site was organized by talking tape, including tools. The site computer had the complete plans, including full project management capabilities.

The smart construction site is closer than you might think.

New-Technologies.com describes a component tracking system that integrates field sensors, portable computers, wireless communication and real-time kinematic global position equipment.

Individual objects scheduled for arrival on the construction site are tagged at the fabricators using bar codes or radio-frequency transponders (RFID). The encoded information is scanned directly into a portable computer and wirelessly relayed to a remote project database. A database query returns graphical representations (e.q. computer aided design (CAD) information, or virtual reality mark-up language (VRML) models of scanned objects and additional information as appropriate. These models, coupled with user-friendly web browsing software, guide field workers through the acquisition of key fiducial points using scanning devices integrated with GPS technology to determine an object's position and orientation. Pallets of materials can be more easily tracked; even permanent equipment like HVAC systems, pumps, motors, etc. can be tracked from their arrival on the site to installation. RFID tags attached to equipment could contain the complete maintenace history of the tool or device.

RFID will be used widely in the automated construction site. For example, it is estimated that for every one hundred workers in electrical contracting, the financial loss of small tools totals in the tens of thousands of dollars each year. Small tools are easily misplaced and lost, or are carried from the site accidentally (or stolen). Crew delays are common. RFID readers placed in tool sheds and at site gates can track portable tools.

A recent field test using tools was recently completed at the University of Kentucky. RFID tags were attached to a variety of expensive tools at four different construction sites; all of the tags performed very well. Even under harsh (cold temperatures) conditions, the RFID tags attached to the tools were able to transmit their unique ID numbers a minimum of five feet through a standard gang box made of steel. As you can see in this illustration, work crews seldom take the time to organize gang boxes; if all of the tools are tagged, a complete inventory of a box would take just a few seconds.


(From Smart Chips Newsletter)

The Global Positioning System (GPS) can be integrated with construction equipment, allowing operators of bulldozers, scrapers, graders and excavators to see real-time information while performing work. More efficient work leads to lowered fuel cost, less wear on equipment and labor savings (staking surveyors are often not required).

The Guardian has an interesting series of articles on the future this month; the following passage on the construction site of the future seems very similar to the Bruce Sterling passage quoted above:

"Even low-value items such as household bricks could be fitted with individual electronic identifiers, allowing an architect or surveyor to walk round a half-finished school or hospital and see an image of the building skeleton pop up instantly on their ultra-thin laptop."
For more details, see Smart chips research progress reports, Smart Chips Literature Review and Only Connect.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/28/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Index of related articles:

What is RFID?
How RFID Works
How is RFID used inside a living body?
What can RFID be used for?
Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?
Are There Concerns About How RFID Will Be Used? (Update)
Next-Generation Uses of RFID?
What Are Zombie RFID Tags?
Problems With RFID
RFID Information Technology Articles
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
RFID Glossary
Contactless Credit Card Advantages
Contactless Credit Card Disadvantages

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Wearable Biomedical Sensors Printed Directly On Your Skin
'The dragon is a skin computer... People put it on their arms and exchange personal data.' Greg Bear, 2009.

The First Multi-User Hologram Table?
Let the Wookiee win. - George Lucas, 1976.

The Details Of Tesla’s FSD Full Self-Driving
'As the beautiful old car cruised in almost perfect silence under the guidance of it's automatic controls...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.

Augmented Reality Palm Keyboard
'Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand.'- John Varley, 1992.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Star Trek Voyager Replica Tricorder And Galaxy Quest
'They designed those controls after watching you...take her out!'

Rolls Royce Electric Airplane Breaks Records
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Chang'e-5 Lunar Lander Seeks Water
'... get out the solar power apparatus and send it down to us from the air-lock by the crane.'

I Really Want A Folding Computer
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

A Kill Switch For Your Car?
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Scientifiction, Searchlight of Science
'And science goes on, with scientifiction as its searchlight.'

Wearable Biomedical Sensors Printed Directly On Your Skin
'The dragon is a skin computer... People put it on their arms and exchange personal data.'

Artificial, Implantable Kidney Prototype
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Ultra-short Pulse Laser Kills Bacteria In Vivo
'...coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.'

Bioprint Prototype Handheld Bioprinter
'He turned the little art-derm nozzle...'

Betty Crocker, The First Company Avatar
'After six months of surgery and psycho-conditioning, he was identical with the other 496 Mr. Prestos...'

Augmented Reality Book Covers Reveal The Inner Book
'The E-paper holograms leaped from lurid covers...'

The First Multi-User Hologram Table?
Let the Wookiee win.

Apollo 8 Astronauts Pass The Equigravisphere
'... divers other objects, firearms and bottles, abandoned to themselves, held themselves up as by enchantment.'

Stellar Pizza Is A Pizza Robot That Comes To You
'No hand touched the food...'

Yamaha MOTOROiD Living Motorcycle Experiment
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.