Part way through the final episode of the long running TV series “Larkrise to Candleford” Alfie Arless encounters the mechanical ploughing/ seeding machine designed and constructed by Daniel Cochrane.
What stuck in my mind about that scene is the shock etched in every feature of Alfie’s face as he saw the future and understood in an instant what it would mean for him and his peers.
Machines replacing the field workers and the relentless march of the progress of automation across the out-of-the-way piece of the world which is Larkrise. The annihilation of so many jobs and livelihoods was, of course, one of the many dark undercurrents of the Industrial Revolution.
I was reminded of that scene when I read the article linked below in Engineer Live. It’s easy to read about MMC and offsite manufacturing and be absorbed by the technology and the efficiency. It’s perhaps a little less comfortable to be confronted by a picture of a Robot Surveyor out on its rounds preparing a condition survey for a Solar Farm.
As we eagerly embrace technology, smart construction and MMC as the harbingers of the kind of efficiency improvement which the construction industry has been in dire need of for years, are we also planning for the inevitable revolution in the structure of the industry? There are consequences of everyone involved from disappearing jobs, to new skillsets to be mastered. The legal and contractual framework within which risk is managed is also going to undergo a seismic shift….
(Picture Credit to Engineer Live/ Trimble and Boston Dynamics)