Hilti, known for its wide selection of power tools and fastening applications for the commercial construction industry, recently took a step outside the box when they announced the release of an exoskeleton to help relieve the bodily toll overhead work takes on workers. Yesterday, however, Hilti took that overhead work solution to the next level, by introducing their first robot, a semi-autonomous overhead drilling solution called Jaibot.
The Hilti Jaibot is a completely cordless overhead drilling solution that can automatically locate and drill holes for overhead MEP anchors based upon a BIM or CAD layout. The unit requires an operator for set up, transport, and in field troubleshooting, but increases the accuracy of the holes, while reducing safety risks associated with overhead work.
“The productivity of the construction industry has been lagging behind other sectors for years. Margin pressure and shortages of skilled labor are already facts of life in our industry and make it increasingly difficult to overcome productivity shortfalls. But leveraging the opportunities offered by digitization will compensate for it. We do this by intelligently linking processes, teams and data,” said Jan Doongaji, Member of the Executive Board, Hilti Group. “With Jaibot, and in close collaboration with our customers, we are further stepping toward realizing the efficiency that digital transformation can and will bring to construction sites.”
The Jaibot provides 8 hours of runtime off of a full charge, which includes the operation of the onboard drill, vacuum, total station, lifting arm, and tracks. The drilling arm is also equipped with a dust shroud and the vacuum contained within the unit is OSHA Table 1 compliant for silica dust containment.
The arm of the robot can reach overhead concrete slab heights between 8 and a half feet and 16 and a half feet above and the drill is optimized for holes of 3/16 of an inch up to 5/8 of an inch. In addition to drilling, the Jaibot also marks the holes with a customized paint color based upon trade or application.
If the drill hits rebar in the field, the operator has the ability to skip that specific hole or move it to a different location. The as-built hole locations are automatically synced to the cloud for immediate access in the office.
The machine also features additional storage for extra drill bits, tool batteries, or extra tools.
Jaibot Set Up
The Jaibot is shipped to the site in a storage crate that can be lifted by a forklift or a crane for movement around the jobsite. That same container also acts as a charging station and secure storage.
In “transport mode,” the Jaibot compacts itself to less than 3 feet wide and less than 5 and a half feet tall, allowing it to fit through most doorways and hoists.
Once the operator sets the ceiling height and location on the provided tablet, the Jaibot goes to work drilling for the concrete anchors in a 6 foot diameter based upon the CAD layout or BIM model uploaded via AutoCAD, Revit, or the Hilti Cloud.
The onboard Hilti PLT 300 total station makes sure that the holes are accurate within 1/8 of an inch.
While overhead drilling is the very first focus of the Jaibot, Hilti reps made it clear that the possibilities are endless with this type of platform. BIM models make robotics work like this much more accessible to increase productivity, accuracy, and reduce safety hazards.
The Hilti Jaibot is expected to be available in 2021 and pricing has not yet been released. Check it out in action in the video below: