Construction robot contest winner set to build Sichuan production base

China's construction sector is grappling with a labor shortage, amid an aging workforce and the tendency of younger generations to shun this back-breaking and seemingly undignified work.

A smart paint-spray robot developed by izsw.net (展视网), a Beijing-based building technology company, received the “rising star” award for its innovation at the first national construction robotics competition in southwestern China.

At the contest held in Fuling, a district in Chongqing Municipality, between November 23 and 24, hundreds of companies specializing in construction robotics took part and izsw.net came through the ranks.

Its robot, more than 1.5m tall, can autonomously navigate the interior of a building and adjust its robot arm at different angles, aiming the nozzle at the designated parts of a wall in need of paint spray.

Compared to manual spray, the robot has several benefits, including spreading the paint more evenly across walls and at lower costs, said the company behind it.

The droid, which sits on four wheels, is able to conduct targeted spray jobs given parameters and routes technicians set up beforehand.

The nozzle installed at the tip of the robotic arm paints walls through pressurized air spray techniques.

Riding on the crest of its accolades, izsw.net has set up a unit in Chengdu, capital of southwestern Sichuan Province, to establish a production facility.

Once completed, the plant is scheduled to churn out smart paint spray robot, plaster robot, and brick-laying robot.

China’s construction sector is grappling with a labor shortage, amid an aging workforce and the tendency of younger generations to shun this back-breaking and seemingly undignified work.

To fuel its development, the industry is compelled to rely on innovations in automation and robotics to supplant a dwindling pool of labor.

Last year, construction robot sales at home reached 942 units, with a market size reaching 376 million yuan (US$52.56 million), according to a study by Intelligence Research Group, a data service provider.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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