+1-518-621-2074 | US-Canada Toll Free Contact Us

Faced with Construction Labor Shortage, Japan turns to Drones and Robotic Bulldozers

about us

Published on : Oct 14, 2015

With Japan gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics to be held in 2020, the massive shortage of labor has become a rather big problem. 

Japan based Komatsu, the world’s second largest construction company, is moving away from human workers and turning its attention to robotics. Visa restrictions for blue collar workers has resulted in the worst ever labor shortage in two decades for the country, according a report by Bloomberg. 

Japan is in need of over 25,000 workers who will help in the construction of arenas, stadiums, and other facilities for the Olympics and the nation’s trend of geriatric population has translated into a dearth of young labor. 

To try and solve this problem, Komatsu is devising a new service called Smart Construction, which according to a Verge report, can do all the necessary tasks without the need of human construction workers. Smart Construction comprises robotic bulldozers that can pick up and push rocks and dirt without needing anyone at the wheel. 

These robo-bulldozers are led by drones and can map the entire construction site in real time. This provides accurate data on the amount of dirt and cement being pushed around. At the most one or two people will be needed on the site to take necessary steps in case anything goes awry. 

The drones that Komatsu uses are built by Skycatch, an American startup and Komatsu invested US$ 25 million for Skycatch during a recent round of funding. The drones minimize the chance of error and also reduce the amount of time needed to finish a given project.

Even though Skycatch is an American firm, this kind of construction will not be a regular thing anytime soon. The report stated that Skycatch intends on working on the project in Japan.