What is BEEYONDERS?
A unique opportunity to increase the competitiveness of European companies in the construction sector.
To date, the European construction sector is facing challenges which are hampering its competitiveness.
- Labour shortage
- Lack of digital skills in some countries
- Lack of motivation on the part of young people to work in the sector
- Issues linked to gender equality
- Need to improve the safety and well-being of construction workers of any age and gender
- Need to achieve greater resource efficiency and reduction of embodied and wasted CO2 based on a circular economy
- Need to increase productivity while improving quality, cost efficiency and project delivery
In this respect, Japan can be an inspiration for a necessary paradigm shift. Faced with similar problems, the Japanese construction sector has become leader in research investment in AI and Robotics since early 2010. Much innovation has now been achieved in automated machinery, tele-operated or autonomous robots, real time construction site mapping with drones and collaborative robots and smart systems.
BEEYONDERS’ core ambition is to address these challenges by producing, commercializing and integrating beyond the state-of-the art solutions into real construction scenarios. To do so, the project will make extensive use of AI, automation, and digitisation. These new technologies will both support the independence of the European construction sector from foreign technology imports and reduce its environmental impact, ultimately supporting the EU in reaching climate neutrality. The project’s specific objectives are:
SET UP THE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS
The requirements will be set for the technologies and solutions, jointly with their expected impact for the users, technology and solutions developers, testers, workers, and future professionals.
DEFINE AND SET UP TESTING PROTOCOLS AT TRL4 AND 5, AND DEMONSTRATION PLANS AT TRL6.
Testing and demonstration protocols of technologies and solutions will be set up at TRL4 (validated at lab scale), at TRL5 (validated at relevant environment) and at TRL6 (in construction site).
DEVELOP, TEST, AND DEMONSTRATE AUTONOMOUS & COLLABORATIVE ROBOTICS SOLUTIONS
BEEYONDERS will develop advanced solutions for tunnel, road and building construction and road maintenance use-cases. It will demonstrate that is possible to implement unmanned machinery to work in harsh construction scenarios with autonomous/tele-operated ground and aerial robotic and industrial-machinery vehicles.
DEVELOP, TEST AND DEMONSTRATE NEW ENVIRONMENTAL-FRIENDLY ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING SOLUTIONS
Additive Manufacturing solutions will be developed to introduce several benefits for the environment, acting directly on resource optimisation and promoting biodiversity in maritime construction work sites.
DEVELOP, TEST AND DEMONSTRATE A DIGITAL TWIN WITH DATA FUSION FROM BT AND AI MODULES
A Digital Twin (DT) platform will bring together the data from the case studies to manage the information relating to the breakthrough technologies (BT) developed. The Digital Twin will then be demonstrated with a set of layers and applications based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for decision-making and improvement of wellbeing & safety of workers.
DEVELOP, IMPLEMENT AND EVALUATE NEW WORKER-FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGIES
This involves rolling out the new technologies into the workforce. The impact and consequences of these technologies will be evaluated, with emphasis on the advantages this can bring to the workforce. This evaluation will look at: the gender dimension, how the technologies can benefit older construction workers and how the technologies can help attract younger workers and therefore reduce labour shortage.
To reach these objectives, exoskeletons, advanced wearables PPEs and extended reality devices will be developed and tested in different scenarios.
DEVELOP TRAINING AND LEARNING RESOURCES
Learning & training resources for current and future employees will be developed and introduced into curricula and modules for undergraduate and lifelong learning programmes.
PERFORM STANDARDISATION ACTIVITIES
A standardization analysis of the technologies and solutions will be developed. A roadmap for integration into current and/or future standards will be produced.
DEVELOP INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION WITH JAPAN
Technological collaboration with Japan will be fostered. To do so, missions will be planned to strengthen professional relations with technological entities in Japan. The project will collaborate with a Japanese entity for using pioneering technologies in a specific maritime construction case study.
The BEEYONDERS project aims at improving efficiency, safety, and quality in the construction sector while reducing the environmental impact of building sites.
Thus, it will pave the way towards a more sustainable and competitive European construction industry. In this regard, the project will contribute with:
- Successful integration of the next pioneering technologies: autonomous vehicles and human robot collaboration, additive manufacturing, diagnostics and monitoring and autonomous maintenance.
- Demonstration of the impact of the use of these new pioneering technologies on the efficiency of resources (raw materials, water etc.), the reduction of waste and embodied CO2 emissions.
- Demonstration of the safety of the new technologies in a construction environment, in cooperation with workers.
- Reduced dependence on imported technologies related to additive manufacturing, human robot collaboration or autonomous vehicles.
- Increase in the wellbeing of the construction workforce involved.
BEEYONDERS will improve the design, development and integration of 6 versatile technologies for the construction sector
AUTONOMOUS & TELEOPERATED GROUND AND AERIAL VEHICLES
SMART ADVANCED WEARABLES
Less CO2 emissions by the construction sector
Improvement of efficiency in production
Increase in workers’ endurance
Reduction in sick leave due to lower back injuries