On-Site Magazine

PCL and Pomerleau see Spot run

Collaboration with Intel and Microsoft has Spot the robot dog joining site crews to help streamline workflow and enhance safety.

November 29, 2021   Adam Freill
Commercial
Construction

Spot, an agile mobile robot designed by Boston Dynamics.

Spot, an agile mobile robot designed by Boston Dynamics, can gather real-time data for project analysis. (Photo courtesy of Pomerleau)

Setting aside competition, and leveraging innovation to collaboratively influence the construction industry, PCL Construction and Pomerleau Construction unleashed Spot, a robotic dog, on a Toronto job site. In early November, together with Latium, Intel and Microsoft, the contracting firms brought the robot to Cadillac Fairview’s 160 Front Street project to tap into smart technology to assist in project analysis.

Using leading technologies to drive productivity and efficiency while enhancing quality and safety is paramount for PCL Construction. Pomerleau shares these priorities and wants to help propel an industrywide transformation collaborating and innovating using technology, so the use of Spot seemed to align well for the two companies.

Spot, an agile mobile robot designed by Boston Dynamics, made its debut on a Pomerleau site in Montreal in 2019. Pomerleau was the first construction company in the world to welcome Spot on its job sites. PCL Construction will now send it to a couple of its job sites to further study and enhance how Spot can improve the company’s industry leading workflows.

“Sharing what we have learned and our experiences with this technology with PCL and seeing how it can be combined with additional innovations will be an enriching experience,” said Eric Lessard, Pomerleau’s vice-president of technology and innovation. “We hope this partnership will inspire the industry as a whole to rally so that advancements in construction can benefit communities and contribute to speeding up economic recovery in months and years to come.”

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“We are very interested to see how Spot performs autonomously, and how exactly the data it collects while moving around our job site will complement our daily site tasks at the workface of construction,” said John Boktor, PCL’s senior manager of digital construction and business technology. “Collaborating with our technology partners and industry peers in an effort to enable technology further and more broadly in our industry is both very exciting and rewarding.”

While on site, Spot was equipped with a number of complementary technologies to feed data into Latium Technologies’ Job Site Insights (JSI) smart construction platform. That platform provides site personnel with real-time information to facilitate rapid responses to changing or adverse job site conditions and events. Spot can also get into dangerous, hard to access or confined spaces, improving health and safety on job sites.

“With our smart construction solutions, we can transform general contractors and the architecture, engineering, and construction industry,” said Mark Bryant, CEO of Latium Technologies. “Having Spot outfitted and integrated into our JSI platform gives real-time insights to project teams, enabling them to make critical job site decisions in real-time.”