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Infrastructure Bill Calls on Construction Contractors to Innovate

Mon November 22, 2021 - National Edition
Advanced Construction Robotics

The construction industry has burst into a flurry of activity as the most aggressive infrastructure spending initiative since the 1950s was signed into law on Nov. 15.

Combined with a skilled labor shortage, the $550 billion bill calls into question whether contractors have the capacity to meet rapidly growing demand.

Innovative contractors across the nation are turning to new technology for help. Robots as a new class of equipment are showing to be an effective complement to human crews and may prove essential to completing the projects laid out within the infrastructure bill.

Woman owned Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Shelby Erectors, is an example to contractors across the country on the effective usage of robotics on the job site. Contracted for rebar installation on the 512,427 sq. ft. I-95 Express Phase 3C project in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Shelby elected to utilize TyBot by Advanced Construction Robotics to boost crew productivity.

TyBot, a rebar tying robot, leverages cutting edge artificial intelligence to tie together the rebar grid that commonly reinforces concrete surfaces. While TyBot is actively tying rebar, Shelby's laborers are free to handle more skilled tasks better suited for human hands.

Shelby stands tall in the industry as an example of how to adapt to modern challenges, and its president, Jennifer Nix, is positioning her company to meet the labor demands of the new infrastructure bill.

"As the labor gap in construction continues to grow with increasing demand, it is crucial to incorporate solutions like TyBot to mitigate the effects. We have found that TyBot saves at least 25 percent on our rebar tying schedule. This provides a crucial edge when bidding projects, and project owners, typically DOT, often like to see innovative tech used," Nix said.

"TyBot is definitely a lifesaver when labor availability is lacking. It provides a level of consistency that's difficult to match and is why we're currently using it on three separate concrete bridge construction projects across Florida.

"TyBot removes the repetitive, back-breaking work that can cause serious long-term injuries, and anything we can do to improve our crews' health and safety is a huge priority for us. TyBot allows us to safely stay on schedule while shorthanded and to move our workforce on to higher skilled tasks or to another jobsite where they can be better utilized," said Nix.

"ACR was founded for moments like this. Our robots will continue to solve today's construction challenges assisting the workforce to meet rapidly growing demand, such as what will generated from the infrastructure bill," said Searock, co-founder, ACR.

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