Indoor Construction Robot Enhances Productivity and Safety in Hong Kong Housing Projects
An innovative construction robot has been introduced in Hong Kong’s public housing projects to boost productivity and ensure worker safety. The multifunctional robot, known as DF061, is designed and manufactured by Chinese intelligent-construction robot service provider DaFang AI. By performing plaster, polish, and spray work, the robot reduces construction time by approximately 10% while minimizing risks.
The Housing Department’s head of Development and Construction InnoTech, Romeo Yiu Fan-hung, highlighted that the robot significantly improves construction efficiency by allowing a single operator to control multiple machines performing different tasks. Moreover, the robot can be operated remotely from ground level during wall and ceiling work in high-rise buildings, reducing the risks associated with working at great heights.
The user-friendly design of the robot enables workers to easily control it after simple training. The control can be accessed through phone or tablet apps. The construction robots come in various sizes to cater to different needs. Larger robots are designed for tasks in parking lots, public transport interchanges, and other high-floor locations, while smaller robots handle wall and ceiling treatment within public housing flats.
The introduction of construction robots in Hong Kong’s construction industry is a response to the shortage of workers and the country’s aging population. Since March 2020, the Housing Authority has included new rules on the use of construction robots in assessing tenders for new construction contracts. These robots have been or will be employed on around 40 projects to enhance productivity and occupational safety and health.
With close attention being paid to occupational safety and health in light of recent construction site accidents, the use of robots and other innovative technologies is expected to mitigate risks. Yiu expressed his hope that the construction sector can expedite construction work and increase output to alleviate the city’s housing supply shortage.
To further promote the research and application of innovative technologies in construction and property management, the Housing Bureau and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute will sign a memorandum of understanding.
DaFang AI, the developer of the construction robot, was established in Shenzhen in 2019 and has a research-and-development center in Dongguan as well as a branch in Hong Kong. The company holds numerous patents and software copyrights related to automated construction and has contributed to the advancement of robotics in mainland China.
Hong Kong’s adoption of construction robots aligns with its efforts to address the challenges posed by an aging population and labor shortage. The city’s Chief Secretary for Administration, Eric Chan Kwok-ki, has acknowledged the valuable experience and advanced technologies of mainland China in developing and applying construction robots.
The integration of construction robots in Hong Kong’s housing projects not only enhances productivity but also prioritizes worker safety. By leveraging innovative technologies, the construction industry aims to address the housing supply shortage and attract more young people to join the sector.