DeepX, Inc., a startup developing automation technology for construction equipment, has begun providing Oriental Shiraishi with a construction management system. This system has been realized by digital twin technology. It allows remote access from the monitoring room above ground, or even offsite locations, to conduct real-time checks on the measurement results in the underground working room of the pneumatic caisson method.
（Upper）Construction site （Lower）Screen of the digital twin system
Challenges on the construction sites
The challenge with the pneumatic caisson method is both the time-limitation for the operation and physical damage to the human operator. These challenges are due to the workroom being located underground with high atmospheric pressure. This means that multiple-hour stays in a decompression chamber were required and the operator could only stay in the workroom for a limited time.
In recent years, due to these factors, the operators mainly worked remotely. However, using remote-control cameras alone comes with the following limitations:
・The site supervisor cannot accurately grasp the overall situation in the workroom.
・Operators cannot get a sense of the distance to the ground, which reduces their efficiency.
Due to these limitations, the operators are still required to enter the workroom at the end of the day and conduct the measurement on site.
Cutting-edge digital twin technology enables advanced construction management
DeepX has developed a real-time and accurate measurement/visualization system for the entire operation in the workroom. It utilizes recognition technology acquired through the development of construction equipment automation technology and has greatly reduced the time constraint and physical burden for the operator at the construction site.
The remote control allows the operator to constantly check the measurement results in the workroom and saves the site supervisor from having to physically enter the workroom every day. The operator can also check the positional relationship between the construction equipment and the ground from a panoramic view, which improves their work efficiency. It is expected that this new system will reduce the time required for site supervisors to prepare reports and prevent miscommunication with other parties involved in the construction process.
Aiming to fully automate the pneumatic caisson construction method
The construction industry has been suffering from a serious labor shortage, and there is an urgent need to improve productivity and reduce the number of on-site workers.
In the future, DeepX’s construction equipment automation technology will be applied with the pneumatic caisson method, aiming to improve productivity and labor-saving efforts by automating the caisson excavator.
DeepX is an AI startup which has its roots in the Matsuo Laboratory at the University of Tokyo with the mission of “Automating Any Machine and Innovating Global Industries”. By automating any kind of machine and promoting automation of a wide range of manual work using various technologies including AI, DeepX aims to solve problems such as labor and skilled worker shortages as well as excessive staff workloads, which are significant challenges to many industries.
Address: Mikura Bldg. No. 1 3F, 3-21-4, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0034
Established: April 22nd, 2016
Representative: Kaoru Nasuno, Chief Executive Officer
Business: Support for automation of machinery and field operations, business development using AI technology, software development, and R&D
■About Oriental Shiraishi
Oriental Shiraishi Corporation engages in a wide variety of social infrastructure construction projects including bridges, highways, railroads, and lifeline facilities. Vast natural landscapes and future-oriented cities are the stages in which they utilize their state-of-the-art engineering capabilities and technologies. The technologies they specialize in include prestressed concrete products, construction, pneumatic caissons, structure retrofits and revamps. Their social infrastructure construction projects enhance people’s lives and ensure high safety standards through a variety of innovative technologies developed with the corporation’s extensive construction experience and R&D efforts. Oriental Shiraishi Corporation is continuously striving to improve the urban environment, develop new infrastructure, repair and reinforce existing infrastructure, and provide disaster countermeasures against natural disasters. Based on their management philosophy, ”Leveraging state-of-the-art engineering capabilities and technologies to contribute to society”, the company will continue to make steady progress.
In-house research. As a result of an Internet survey conducted in October 2022 on a digital twin construction management system that can be operated on-site in the pneumatic caisson construction method, there is no similar solution worldwide, so it is described as the world’s first.