McCarthy is piloting the use of robotic dogs to conduct site walks on a new hospital construction project.

Image courtesy of McCarthy Building Companies Inc.

Everyone knows that living, breathing dogs are man’s best friend. Now, robotic versions of these creatures are poised to become valued comrades of construction crews.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. is working with fully autonomous robotic dogs to assist the construction team as it builds a new health care facility for Scripps Health in La Jolla, Calif. The robotic dogs are used to walk the site and various floors, and scan and locate correct or incorrect installations. Saving the construction crew dozens of hours.

“We are building a seven-story tower, and these robotic dogs are walking the site and taking 360-degree photos and doing laser scanning. All that data can then be ingested, and we can identify objects that the dog has seen and determine if they have been installed or not and if they are in the right location,” says McKenzie Lewis, manager of emerging technology at McCarthy Building Companies.

The dogs are leveraged to maximize human effort, mitigate the need for repetitive tasks and reallocate human resources to where they are needed most. For example, the robotic dogs can identify if power outlets are installed or where horizontal steel studs in the walls that are used to hang cabinets are located. In the future, the dogs might be used to identify other building components such as in-wall plumbing, floor drain lines, drywall and lights, according to Lewis.

McCarthy is piloting the technology through Field AI, a robotics firm based in Mission Viejo, Calif.