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The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity 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 as well as higher quality construction products and materials. In the last three years alone, there have been over 248,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in Construction: Robotic water surface cleaner. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

80+ innovations will shape the construction industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the construction industry using innovation intensity models built on over 179,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, robotic water surface cleaners are a disruptive technology that is in the early stage of application and should be tracked closely. Intelligent motor controllers, building finishing techniques, and sensor-integrated door wings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are heavy equipment monitoring systems and electric hydraulic excavator, which are now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for robotics in the construction industry

Robotic water surface cleaner is a key innovation area in robotics

Robotic water surface cleaners are used to clean surfaces of rivers and other water areas, particularly in terms of removing accumulated plastic and other waste, and also in cleaning up oil spills.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of robotic water surface cleaner.

Key players in robotic water surface cleaner – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to robotic water surface cleaner

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Sinvent 23 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 10 Unlock Company Profile
GreenIQ 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ma Jun 8 Unlock Company Profile
China General Nuclear Power 8 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 8 Unlock Company Profile
Ihc Holland Ie 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sichuan Orient Hydroelectric Equipment & Engineering 7 Unlock Company Profile
Vikoma International 6 Unlock Company Profile
Power Construction Corporation of China 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Three Gorges 5 Unlock Company Profile
YPF 5 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shandong Taishan Pumped Storage Power Plant 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Shell is among the leading filers of patents for robotic water surface cleaners, as well as the Power Construction Corporation of China, while YPF, a vertically integrated energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, is among the leading filers in terms of application diversity. By means of geographical diversity, GreenIQ  is among the leading filers.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Construction.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.