AI in the Construction Industry

17 April 2023

Heard the word AI in every industry but the construction industry recently, well we are here to bring you the latest AI digital innovation within the construction industry which is making equipment safer. 

BCS Group’s latest excavators have significantly reduced risk for personnel approaching the plant on site by installing human form recognition cameras and a Digital Thumbs Up system. These have been installed on all BCS Group’s latest excavators. 

What does this technology do? 

The digital technologies have been developed by artificial intelligence, autonomous, robotic and environmental solutions business Safety Shield Global. 

The human form recognition uses artificial intelligence to identify when a person has stepped into an unsafe area around a machine, providing an audible alert to the person in the zone and also to the driver. The system has the capacity to report incidents by type and frequency. The data can then be used to help improve safety behaviours on site. 

Digital Thumbs Up combines visual and audible signals to let machine drivers/operators advise other personnel wishing to approach their machines know when it is safe to do so. It follows the principles of the established Thumbs Up procedure used across construction but takes it to the next level through the use of unambiguous LED and sonic indicators. 

Utilising the new system, when a site user wants to approach a machine, they will give a thumbs-up to the operator. Once the operator has seen the thumbs-up signal, they will bring the machine to a controlled stop and will then press the in-cab ‘Thumbs Up’ button to isolate the machine’s controls – effectively disabling it. The digital shield will then display a thumbs-up to show it is safe to approach the machine along the recognised corridor in line with the Thumbs Up procedure. 

What do the staff at BCS think of their latest innovation? 

Steve Day, Head of Hire at BCS believes the human form recognition cameras and Digital Thumbs Up system will make an important contribution to site safety. 

“The Kubota mini-diggers are often employed on quite constrained sites where teams can be working in close proximity so we are always looking out for new measures that can enhance site safety,” he said. “We have been very impressed by both the human form recognition and Digital Thumbs Up systems. They are simple and straightforward and build on the established and familiar Thumbs Up procedure used by all our personnel already.” 

Dave Lally, Operations Director at Barhale said: “We believe this AI technology will benefit sites and personnel by ensuring the people/plant interface is managed in the safest possible way.