Construction engineers and contractors then use the tool to locate places to mark by hand, measuring spots and drawing construction lines on floors, ceilings, and walls of building sites, he said.
Theometrics is using this system primarily in on-site consulting work across the US. The company has built prototypes of the next step in the system: robots that draw the measurements in the field based on the output of the master station laser system. "You select the work in CAD you want to point to or draw, and the robot drives over and draws that line on a floor for you," Frasca said. Theometrics aims to have its architectural navigation robotic system available for sale early next year.
Stathis said he hopes to transform a construction industry that has historically been resistant to change in the way things are done yet spends billions each year to fix mistakes that could be avoided by the adoption of better technology. "I show the technology to people now, and they still say it's impossible."
For those who worry that robotics technology will displace workers, Stathis said he believes it will actually augment human laborers. If more efficiency and automation means fewer man hours per job, the fact that fewer errors are being made will free up the contingency money the industry sets aside to fix them.
"Say you have a billion-dollar project and there is $100 million set aside for contingency," he said. "If we save all of that and 10,000 hours of labor on that project, do we reduce jobs, or are we going to use that $100 million and apply it somewhere else?"