The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) is training construction workers to operate construction robots in its Texas facility.
Developed in partnership with Built Robotics, the construction robots are seen as one of the potential solutions to the shortage of construction workers. However, IUOE assures that robots will not take over human jobs.
“The last thing I want to see is people losing their jobs,” assures Chris Treml, director of construction training at IUOE.
The current robots are simply modified versions of large construction vehicles were fitted with onboard sensors and computers. The onboard technology then enables the machines to operate autonomously or be controlled remotely by a trained worker.
“The computers are not smart enough, but they can free up operators to do the more challenging and valuable work,” Built’s CEO and founder Noah Ready-Campbell explains.
Several unions have already welcomed the new technology while others are skeptical. However, Treml is confident that workers and unions will be more accepting once the suspicions subside.