"Historically, we thought robots would do the three D's: dangerous, dirty and tedious," explained Ryan Caro, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law with expertise in robotics. "Over time, the range of things robots can do has expanded."
Currently, Gartner estimates that automation will replace 30 percent of jobs by 2025, and Oxford predicts 47 percent of jobs are in jeopardy, compared to 85 percent in developing countries.
Buildings are one of the few things that have a good reason to be built by hand. Installing building wire requires a lot of constant judgment calls. Installing conduit and cable is a matter of constant evaluation of conditions and adjustments.
Pulling wire into conduit requires reading and interpreting plans, then selecting the right wire, then planning and executing the pull itself. The pull must be monitored and constantly adjusted. Wires in junction boxes require fine motor skills and good eyesight, something no robot can currently do.
We are still a long way from robots building our buildings, or even from them installing the wires.
I believe robots are creating more jobs for electricians! I worked in manufacturing for many years and production workers, line workers are being replaced by automation and robots and we as maintenance electricians are responsible for troubleshooting these robots and bringing them back online, which is important because a robot stops spinning because each robot has a process to complete and can't start the next process until it's done!
The more automation there is, the more maintenance electricians a company needs to follow a preventive maintenance schedule and troubleshoot. So the production lines need fewer and fewer production workers, and some companies are even combining jobs, with electricians doubling as production workers to operate the machines and also perform mechanical maintenance, combining 3 jobs into one.
In the near future, construction work may not be directly replaced by automation or robots, but rather supplemented by them. Drones capturing BIM information and data are a good example, as are autonomous robots performing laser scanning. These types of labor can free up construction managers on site to focus on other tasks. Robots continuing to replace skilled workers on site can help make the transition to field workers by simply monitoring the robots as they do the bulk of the work.
Comments will be approved before showing up.