Doosan Infracore was recently my host for a visit to its Incheon Plant in South Korea to see firsthand the assembly of its excavators and compact equipment engines. It was an impressive look at the coordination between robotics and human skills.
I was also one of more than 200 people in attendance for the official unveiling of Doosan’s Concept-X, its unmanned and automated construction site solutions. Included in the crowd at Doosan’s Proving Ground in Boryeong City were Korean National Assemblymen, the Mayor of Boryeong City, business executives from Bosch, ASI, LG U+, and PoteNit related to the development of Concept-X, representatives of government agencies and scholars from various academic institutions. You can see a video of Concept-X here.
I had the opportunity to speak with Derek (DW) Lee, the Executive Vice President of Doosan Infracore’s Institute of Technology, who led the years-long development of Concept-X. He began the project five years ago and expects full deployment of the technology in 2025. We talked about some of the difficulties as well as successes he and his team encountered along the way.
Here is a video excerpt of my conversation with Dr. Lee. You may have to strain a little to get past his accent, but he offers some intriguing insight.
According to the press release, Concept-X is a comprehensive control solution that can be used to survey worksite topography via 3D drone scanning, establish operational plans based on the topographical data, and operate construction equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders without human intervention.
Although certain individual unmanned technologies have already been introduced in the field of construction machinery, Doosan Infracore’s introduction of unmanned automation technologies to the entire construction site operation process—ranging from surveying to the operations of construction equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders—is a world first.
The system comprises a wide range of cutting-edge Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as image recognition, cognitive/control technologies, autonomous driving technologies, 5G remote control, 3D drone surveys, accurate workload estimation and assignment, and failure prediction technologies.
The new technologies introduced during the DI demonstration included a technology designed to create three-dimensional worksite maps with drone-surveyed data; a technology enabling construction equipment such as excavators and wheel loaders to perform optimized unmanned operations according to any site situation; and a technology that makes real-time monitoring of work progress possible through the X-Center’s comprehensive control solution.
Of course, we did have a bit of time to visit a few of South Korea’s most famous tourist sites including the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the Lotte World Tower, and my personal favorite, Gyeongbokgung Palace, wearing traditional Hanbok attire.
My thanks to Doosan Infracore.