Robots have taken over the jobsite! Don’t be alarmed, these robotic helpers are only meant to assist in the construction process—not take it over completely.

Robotic total stations are comprised of hardware and applications that allow contractors to perform construction layout processes in a more efficient manner than with using mechanical systems, allowing operators to control instrumentation from afar using remote control.

Companies like Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., and Leica Geosystems,www.leica.com, Heerbrugg, Switzerland, are among those providing such automation equipment.

The robotic equipment continues to make an impact on the jobsite. Take T.U. Parks Construction Co., www.tuparks.com, Chattanooga, Tenn., for example. This contractor recently purchased the Leica Geosystems iCON robotic total station in hopes of providing some powerful technology assistance to its one-man layout crews.

The contractor is putting this equipment right to test, using it on the remodel and reconstruction of Memorial Hospital’s Glenwood Campus South Addition. The company calls this one of Chattanooga’s largest ongoing construction projects with 190,000 sq.ft., of new construction and remodeling, with most of the work being adjacent to the intensive care units and surgery areas.

Working in such close proximity to critical care areas means T.U. Parks needs to stay out of the way, yet still put its traditional quality stamp on construction work.

By using the iCON system, which is comprised of a suite of hardware and software optimized for construction and machine control, the contractor takes this task to the next level. In fact, these total stations are combined with machine control systems, GPS equipment, tablet PCs, and PDAs around a central hub for field software. This allows information to be passed back and forth wirelessly from the field to office and from instrument to instrument.

Can such technology help increase efficiencies on the job while reducing the amount of manpower needed on site? Only time will tell how effective the “robots” are on site. But given the confluence of all different technologies at play, it seems like a great fit for the jobsite.