Publications / 2017 Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC, Taipei, Taiwan

Technical Review of Automated System Application to Earthworks in Australia

Nayab Ahmed, Abraham Hong, Hyeonggyun Ku, Sungkon Moon and Sungwoo Moon
Pages 594-601 (2017 Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC, Taipei, Taiwan, ISBN 978-80-263-1371-7, ISSN 2413-5844)

This paper is a technical review of the smart excavator guidance system being used in Australia. The construction industry contributes towards 8% of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which makes it one of the largest sectors of the nation’s economy. Efficient earthworks have a significant impact on all construction activities in terms of time and cost. Since earthwork activities are repetitive in nature, they offer various opportunities for automation to improve machine utilization and lower the dependence on the operator skill and workload, hence improving the overall construction efficiency. Researchers around the globe have identified these opportunities and introduced various smart machine guidance technologies in order to improve productivity. Construction companies throughout the world, including Australia, have adopted these technologies. However, there is not quantitative understanding of how much these technologies have permeated into the Australian construction industry. This paper will try to address this issue and will try to determine what earthworks market size is, what type of guidance technologies have been adopted by the country and at what scale these technologies have been used. Firstly, this research will try to get an overview of the Australian construction sector. Secondly, an analysis of the previous research projects and inventions will be carried out by looking at various patents of researchers. The literature review will be focus on five broad technological advancements which include the development of machine control systems, laser leveling guidance systems, GPS systems, radio guidance systems display technologies for machine guidance. Thirdly, the adaptation of earthwork technologies in Australia is discussed in the paper regarding the application of construction equipment guidance systems and how these technologies are executed. Research results indicate that the Australian excavation industry is still lagging behind in adopting smart guidance technologies with 64% companies still using laser-levelling systems and 29% companies using advanced GPS systems. State-by-state review also shows similar results with only 15% and 12% of the excavation markets in Victoria and New South Wales adopting GPS-based guidance systems. Data collection will include case studies, phone interviews and internet searches. Finally, all the data will be summarised to get an overview of the adaptation of smart excavator guidance technologies in Australia.

Keywords: Machine Control Systems, Laser Leveling Guidance Systems, GPS Systems, Radio Guidance Systems, 2D & 3D Laser and Radio Positioning Guidance System