This week Doosan Infracore unveiled ‘Concept-X’ at its Proving Grounds in Boryeong City, Korea, a control solution that can be used to survey worksite topography via 3D drone scanning, establish operational plans based on topographical data, and operate construction equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders without human intervention.
While Concept-X is construction focused, some of the technology is likely to have potential applications in mining. This opinion is backed up by the fact that one of the project collaborations, ASI, is already a leader in autonomous solutions in the mining space.
Doosan says Concept-X realises the construction site of the future by having all dangerous construction work performed solely by equipment, leaving human personnel free to concentrate on more sophisticated analysis and management tasks.
Although certain individual unmanned technologies have already been introduced in the field of construction machinery, Doosan Infracore’s introduction of unmanned automation technologies to the entire construction site operation process – ranging from surveying to the operations of construction equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders – is a world first, it said.
“Concept-X comprises a wide range of cutting-edge Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as image recognition, cognitive/control technologies, autonomous driving technologies, 5G remote control, 3D drone surveys and accurate workload estimation and assignment, together with failure prediction technologies,” the company said.
The new technologies introduced during the demonstration included a technology designed to create 3D worksite maps with drone-surveyed data; a technology enabling construction equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders to perform optimised unmanned operations according to any site situation; and a technology that makes real-time monitoring of work progress possible through the X-Center’s control solution.
This solution will boost productivity and economic feasibility significantly by reducing the time and costs required for construction equipment operations, while introducing a revolutionary improvement to the issue of construction worksite safety, the company said. Doosan Infracore plans to commercialise Concept-X by 2025.
Pending its commercialisation, Doosan Infracore will introduce each of the above-mentioned technologies – including drone surveying, cutting-edge data analysis, and unmanned construction equipment operations and control – individually as soon as they have been fully verified.
Doosan Infracore President & CEO, Dongyoun Sohn, said: “Concept-X is not just an unmanned technology: rather, it integrates multiple state-of-the-art technologies that can respond immediately to all and any of the changes that may arise at construction sites simultaneously.
“It will become a human-centred technology that not only brings about remarkable improvements in economics and safety but also creates more jobs in high-tech industries.”
In addition to its independent technology development, Doosan Infracore has pursued various forms of open innovation including collaboration with other companies and schools, as well as investment in start-ups. The company has engaged in industry-academic co-operation with Seoul National University, Yonsei University and Hanyang University in order to develop new technologies related to AI-based construction equipment operations, drone 3D surveying and operational data analysis.
In 2018, Doosan Infracore, in partnership with LG U+, introduced 5G-based remote control technology for the first time in the world.