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Top 9 Computer Vision Use Cases in Construction in 2024

Digital transformation has been slow in the construction sector for the last few years. However, this is now changing as more construction companies invest in digital solutions. One of the prominent digital technologies that are revolutionizing the construction sector is computer vision.

More than half of the people working in the construction sector are over the age of 55. With an age group like this, it is possible that implementing technology such as AI or computer vision might be difficult. Therefore, business managers need to learn more about the benefits and applications of computer vision to help overcome this barrier.

This article explores 9 computer vision use cases and applications in the construction sector that can help business leaders better understand the technology and help them make better future decisions regarding its implementation.

Making construction sites safer

The construction sector involves various high-risk tasks which makes it one of the most dangerous occupations in the world with a high annual fatality rate. Business managers try to implement various solutions to make the job safer and more secure for the workers.

Usually, construction sites are large in area and it can be difficult to monitor and cover all areas all the time. Computer vision-enabled surveillance can enable consistent site monitoring and higher worker safety.

Personal protective compliance

Construction companies are legally and ethically obligated to ensure that the workers follow certain workplace safety practices such as:

  • The usage of safety gear while working on the site,
  • Follow safety guidelines regarding operating heavy machinery and equipment,
  • Conduct sufficient training regarding workplace safety practices

However, making sure that all workers comply with these rules can be difficult and non-compliance can result in serious incidents.

A computer vision system can provide accurate and consistent monitoring of workers to ensure that they follow the rules. For example, the system can observe if the workers are using safety equipment like helmets, high visibility jackets, masks, gloves, footwear, etc. In case of a breach, the system can alert authorities for further action. 

Hazard detection

Computer vision systems can also detect risky areas and situations on construction sites and alert workers and security officers with real-time data. For example, if a heavy container, filled with concrete is hanging by a crane, the system can mark that area as dangerous and alert workers to avoid it.

See how it works:

To find the tool or service that best suits your annotation needs, check out our data-driven lists of:

Construction automation

Automation is taking over the world. Organizations are automating error-prone, high risk and repetitive tasks to increase efficiency and productivity. In the construction sector, automation is also changing the game. 

The global market for commercial building automation is projected to rise from $33 billion in 2020 to $76 billion by 2031. Most autonomous construction vehicles or equipment require computer vision to operate.

Some of the latest automotive construction equipment enabled with computer vision are:

Bricklaying Robots

A construction-technology firm based in Australia FBR has developed Hadrian X, a bricklaying robot that can do its work without any human input.

Here is an example of robot laying the bricks.

Demolition robots

Demolishing buildings can be a dangerous task since a simple mistake can cause fatal accidents. Demolition bots can help eliminate these risks and perform demolition tasks non-stop.

Welding robots

Welding can also be a tiring task with risks of discomfort, burns, and electrocution. Bots can eliminate these risks and perform the tasks non-stop.

Here is an example of automated welding robot.

Autonomous material transport vehicles

Autonomous vehicles can efficiently transport materials through the construction site.

While implementing automation in the construction sector can have various benefits, business leaders need to understand that it does not come cheap. Purchasing and maintaining this technology can be expensive and can add substantial costs to your project. Considering the financial aspects is crucial prior to the implementation of automation in any business.

3D mapping of sites

Another major application of computer vision is 3D modeling of the construction site to monitor progress. With large construction sites, it can take a significant amount of time to inspect the site to check how work is progressing and if there are issues. Computer vision technology can help in this area. 

High-definition cameras attached to drones can scan the construction site and create a digital 3D model with real-time updates. This way construction project managers can have more visibility over the project without the hassle and risk of physical inspection.

Enabling smarter security surveillance

Some construction sites require a high level of security where only authorized personnel can enter. For example, constructing a government facility or a secret military base can require a high level of security. 

Computer vision and AI-enabled surveillance systems can stop unauthorized people or vehicles from entering the facility. It can also offer face recognition technology to detect unauthorized access to the facility and alert authorities with impressive speed. 

To learn more about the applications of computer vision in the security sector, check out this quick read.

Improving quality inspection

Quality inspection can be a difficult task on large construction sites. It involves repetitive and error-prone tasks which can take a lot of time if done manually. Some construction sites require initial inspections which can also be risky if done manually. Computer vision-enabled quality inspection is widely used in the manufacturing sector. It can have similar benefits for the construction sector.

Smart inspection tools can scan video footage of construction sites to detect defects such as cracks on walls (See the illustration below with red areas indicating cracks).

Here are two images, the one on the left is the original one and it displays cracks on the road, and the one on the right shows how smart inspection tools can scan detect defects which is shown by red color.

Source: Canon

However, research suggests that even though this technology is accurate, it highly depends on the quality of the images/videos input. Since some construction images are difficult to capture, implementing such a system can be difficult.

Further reading

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Shehmir Javaid
Shehmir Javaid is an industry analyst in AIMultiple. He has a background in logistics and supply chain technology research. He completed his MSc in logistics and operations management and Bachelor's in international business administration From Cardiff University UK.

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