Modern technology is advancing at a staggering pace and many dangerous jobs are being replaced by automation; that is, robots. Although not quite the world that Isaac Asimov wrote about with artificial intelligence creating independent thinking machines, there are still many jobs where robots excel, limiting the need for human interaction and adding elements of safety and utility to potentially dangerous jobs. One application that might not be widely seen as realistic for robotics to excel is industrial demolition.

Basics

Several companies produce proven robotic demolition systems but the layout across brands is very similar. Demolition robots operate on electric power, plugged in when available and utilizing battery storage otherwise. The base is usually sturdy and tracked, with outriders able to be extended for added stability in many models. The main component of the robot is a multi directional hydraulic powered arm that can often telescope to increase range and reach the areas necessary to perform its function. Control is maintained by a human operator using a handheld console via either a direct cable link or by radio signals. The arm itself is as useful as the attachments that it holds at any given time. Impact tools, crushers, grapples, shears and others are available, most of these tools are powered by the same hydraulics that give mobility to the arm itself. The options for attachments makes these types of robots extremely versatile.

Advantages

The advantages of robot demolition units are varied. The removal of otherwise manual labour is attractive as the robot can handle heavy equipment with more poise and precision than the average human operator. Workplace injuries from strain and physical labour are greatly reduced, in particular the reduction of HAV (Hand Arm Vibration) injuries. Further to this idea is the safety incurred from removing a human worker from the work area. This is particularly attractive if the work area is dangerous; half collapsed buildings may have risk of falling debris, for example, or the area might be contaminated with radiation, chemical or environmental hazard. In these cases, it is extremely desirable to keep workers out of the area and be able to complete the work by remote control. A last advantage is that robotic units are completely contained and are quickly deployed to the worksite. Having a demolition robot on site means you are likely have all the tools you will need to complete the job.

Disadvantages

Using demolition robotics should be left to professionals as the operators will need to be experienced; laymen operators may cause more damage than needed. There are accessibility concerns, although the small size and motorized tracks can navigate many different terrain types. Cost might be a deterrent, however due to efficiency, one robotic unit can replace many traditional demolition teams. The use of demolition robots is on the rise with many manufacturers designing units to be distributed to many different demolition companies. Among the most widely used brand of demolition robots is Brokk Robots. Based in the United States and producing remote demolition systems since 1983, they have established themselves as the world’s authority in developing and producing robotic demolition equipment. If you’re looking for a remote demolition crew in the UK, look to Drilltec, who are experienced and exclusively use Brokk robots for excellent, remote demolition. Simply contact us today for more information.