Developer of rebar-tying robot takes top AGC-Autodesk award

Saxonburg, Pa.-based Brayman Construction and its affiliate, Advanced Construction Robotics, took first place and a $10,000 prize in the inaugural Associated General Contractors of America-Autodesk Innovation Awards program for an autonomous rebar-tying robot geared to bridge construction. The TyBot device ties continuously day or night, and takes over after construction crews carry, place and frame-in 10 percent of deck rebar.

This summer R.S. Audley, Inc. used the TyBot to help construct the new Route 102 bridge over I-93 near Derry, N.H. PHOTO: Advanced Construction Robotics

Advanced Construction Robotics officials state that the system improves workplace safety, enhances productivity, and reduces scheduling risks. TyBot can be assembled in half a shift or less with only two laborers and a crane operator (approximately 1 to 4 hours depending on bridge width). It only requires a quality control technician to operate, and is capable of tying alternating-intersection patterns as well as all-intersection patterns, meeting the specifications of multiple project owners and DOTs. There are currently five TyBot systems in operation, notes the manufacturer, with more currently in production.

In addition to Brayman, AGC Oregon-Columbia chapter was named second place winner ($5,000 prize) for its Educator Externship Program, created to help address the industry’s workforce shortage challenges. Sundt Construction in Tucson, Ariz., took third place ($2,500) for developing an electronic toolkit to help streamline the construction estimation process.

“Construction firms like th[ese] have the skill, ingenuity and determination to overcome any challenge” and “provde what dedicated construction professionals can accomplish,” says AGC President Eddie Stewart, chief executive officer of Montgomery, Alabama-based Caddell Construction. The AGC-Autodesk Innovation Awards were launched to inspire construction stakeholders to craft solutions to pressing industry challenges, he adds.