The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and the growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in construction: autonomous excavator. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 232,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the construction industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Autonomous excavators is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Autonomous excavators use advanced robotic technology to automate the excavation process on construction sites. Using sensors to collect information on the surrounding area, autonomous excavators can track how much soil they are moving in real time. This helps to reduce the movement of excess soil, which can significantly improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of construction sites.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autonomous excavators.
Key players in autonomous excavators – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to autonomous excavators
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Built Robotics is among the leading filers in autonomous excavators. The company, which leads in the automated construction equipment space, has filed a patent for an autonomous excavation vehicle that can navigate through a dig site and carrying out an excavation routine. Enabled through a system of sensors mounted to the vehicle to collect spatial, imaging, measurement, and location data representing the status of the excavator and its surrounding environment, the system allows the extraction vehicle to execute instructions as part of an excavation routine, as well as perform numerous additional tasks such as checking the volume of excavated earth in an excavation tool and helping to prepare a digital terrain model.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction.