An investigation into the barriers to the implementation of automation and robotics technologies in the construction industry

Mahbub, Rohana (2008) An investigation into the barriers to the implementation of automation and robotics technologies in the construction industry. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The rising problems associated with construction such as decreasing quality and productivity, labour shortages, occupational safety, and inferior working conditions have opened the possibility of more revolutionary solutions within the industry. One prospective option is in the implementation of innovative technologies such as automation and robotics, which has the potential to improve the industry in terms of productivity, safety and quality. The construction work site could, theoretically, be contained in a safer environment, with more efficient execution of the work, greater consistency of the outcome and higher level of control over the production process. By identifying the barriers to construction automation and robotics implementation in construction, and investigating ways in which to overcome them, contributions could be made in terms of better understanding and facilitating, where relevant, greater use of these technologies in the construction industry so as to promote its efficiency. This research aims to ascertain and explain the barriers to construction automation and robotics implementation by exploring and establishing the relationship between characteristics of the construction industry and attributes of existing construction automation and robotics technologies to level of usage and implementation in three selected countries; Japan, Australia and Malaysia. These three countries were chosen as their construction industry characteristics provide contrast in terms of culture, gross domestic product, technology application, organisational structure and labour policies. This research uses a mixed method approach of gathering data, both quantitative and qualitative, by employing a questionnaire survey and an interview schedule; using a wide range of sample from management through to on-site users, working in a range of small (less than AUD0.2million) to large companies (more than AUD500million), and involved in a broad range of business types and construction sectors. Detailed quantitative (statistical) and qualitative (content) data analysis is performed to provide a set of descriptions, relationships, and differences. The statistical tests selected for use include cross-tabulations, bivariate and multivariate analysis for investigating possible relationships between variables; and Kruskal-Wallis and Mann Whitney U test of independent samples for hypothesis testing and inferring the research sample to the construction industry population. Findings and conclusions arising from the research work which include the ranking schemes produced for four key areas of, the construction attributes on level of usage; barrier variables; differing levels of usage between countries; and future trends, have established a number of potential areas that could impact the level of implementation both globally and for individual countries.

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ID Code: 26377
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Skitmore, Ronald & Humphreys, Matthew
Keywords: automation, robotics, mechanisation, construction industry, barriers, construction operations, construction process, implementation, Japan, Australia, Malaysia
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 16 Jul 2009 03:55
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:53

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