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Can Robots Replace Tradies?

Credit: koya979/adobe

Credit: koya979/adobe

By George Quezada

To what extent will intelligent robots transform the construction industry within the next 20 years?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Over the past few months I’ve been working with Construction Skills Queensland to develop future scenarios out to 2036. We examined the major trends and how they may play out for jobs and skills in Queensland’s construction industry. The stand-out issue for me is the prospect of robots replacing human labour.

It’s a provocative thought. I can’t help but imagine a future of “C3POs” where most (if not all) of the dangerous, difficult and dull tasks are handled by highly intelligent robots. Around-the-clock they lift, fit and bolt our infrastructure and buildings together, perhaps even commissioning and maintaining them as well.

This notion both excites and terrifies me. I own a robot vacuum cleaner (I can’t remember the last time I personally vacuumed) and I value the ease that it’s brought to keeping my house clean. I live on acreage, and I’m currently sizing up a robotic lawn mower…

But will all this technology evolve to something resembling the droid army of Star Wars? Can robots replace humans? I’m not sure.

I’m not here to offer the “right” answer or make an argument either way, but to prompt a more important question: what would it take for the construction industry to thrive in a high-tech future?

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The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.