Construction company Multiplex has deployed a new automated lifting device to improve safety on the New Museum for WA site.
The device, called a Roborigger, uses inertial forces to rotate and orient crane loads, eliminating the need for taglines or for workers to be in close proximity during the lifting and lowering phases.
It is the first of its kind to be used on an Australian commercial construction site and aims to improve safety by allowing riggers and dogmen to control loads wirelessly from a safe distance.
The Roborigger features an in-built camera and load cell, and can use Internet of Things connectivity to incorporate a slimline tracking system. This allows every piece of data on a lift, from the image of the load, weight, location, time and date, and user status, to be viewed online in real time.
Multiplex is the first commercial construction contractor to use the Roborigger, which has been in development since 2016. The company has supported the technology since 2017, coordinating trials on commercial sites and providing user feedback.
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“The overwhelming potential safety outcomes are what sparked our interest in Roborigger,” Multiplex Chief Executive Officer John Flecker said.
“At Multiplex, we are always looking to find ways of making our sites and day-to-day operations safer.
“The device perfectly aligns with our overarching strategy to be safer by design and focus on critical risks, removing the need for workers to be in the proximity of a high-risk activity.”
The device, developed by engineering services provider TENSA Equipment, was originally designed to address the task of installing wind turbine blades when the wind was greater than the current limit of 12 knots.
TENSA Managing Director Derick Markwell said the company realised that safety was the key concern for those in the industry.
“We have also recently realised that data captured from load lifts is as valuable as the hardware itself, so we are now looking at leveraging this,” he said.
TENSA is currently taking Roborigger to the next commercialisation stage and has set up a production facility in Wangara, WA.