Robots are building a dam in Japan

According to a report by CIOB, the concrete dam is 84m high and 334m wide. It is being constructed in Mie Prefecture on the southeast coast of Japan’s main island.

Robots are building a dam in Japan
Robots are building a dam in Japan

Robots are building a dam in Japan

Obayashi, a major Japanese contractor, is building a dam almost entirely with robots in response to the country’s chronic construction labor shortage. According to a report by CIOB, the concrete dam is 84m high and 334m wide. It is being constructed in Mie Prefecture on the southeast coast of Japan’s main island.

The contractor stated that remote-controlled tower cranes pour concrete into 15-meter-square partitions to build the dam up in layers. Robots polish the surfaces of each slab to create a watertight union with subsequent ones. Robots then raise the formwork as the structure gains height.

Human workers are on hand to monitor and guide some of the machinery as it is a pilot robotics project. Thus, despite the advances in automation, productivity has only increased by about 10% so far. But Obayashi said it is learning from the experience in order to further reduce the necessary manpower.

Companies are in a hurry to develop automated machinery employing the knowledge and skills of older workers before they retire. It is because Japan’s construction workforce is aeging quickly, with 35% of all workers now 55 or older.