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Robotics and automation for sustainable construction: microscoping the barriers to implementation

Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke (Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure, Nigeria) (School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)
John Aliu (Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Patricia Fadamiro (Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure, Nigeria)
Paramjit Singh Jamir Singh (School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)
Mohamad Shaharudin Samsurijan (School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)
Mahathir Yahaya (School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 14 April 2023

Issue publication date: 23 April 2024

340

Abstract

Purpose

This study presents the results of an assessment of the barriers that can hinder the deployment of robotics and automation systems in developing countries through the lens of the Nigerian construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping literature review was conducted through which barriers to the adoption of robotics and automation systems were identified, which helped in the formulation of a questionnaire survey. Data were obtained from construction professionals including architects, builders, engineers and quantity surveyors. Retrieved data were analyzed using percentages, frequencies, mean item scores and exploratory factor analysis.

Findings

Based on the mean scores, the top five barriers were the fragmented nature of the construction process, resistance by workers and unions, hesitation to adopt innovation, lack of capacity and expertise and lack of support from top-level managers. Through factor analysis, the barriers identified were categorized into four principal clusters namely, industry, human, economic and technical-related barriers.

Practical implications

This study provided a good theoretical and empirical foundation that can be useful to construction industry stakeholders, decision-makers, policymakers and the government in mapping out strategies to promote the incorporation and deployment of automation and robotics into the construction industry to attain the safety benefits they offer.

Originality/value

By identifying and evaluating the challenges that hinder the implementation of robotics and automation systems in the Nigerian construction industry, this study makes a significant contribution to knowledge in an area where limited studies exist.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study is supported by Universiti Sains Malaysia Research Grant (RUI) 2019 with account reference 1001/PSOSIAL/8016113.

Citation

Oke, A.E., Aliu, J., Fadamiro, P., Jamir Singh, P.S., Samsurijan, M.S. and Yahaya, M. (2024), "Robotics and automation for sustainable construction: microscoping the barriers to implementation", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 625-643. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-12-2022-0275

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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