The civil engineering and construction industries are indispensable to create prosperous society and
we intend to improve the environments for workers who carry out their duties in those fields.
In order to achieve this, we aim to establish telework on construction sites to change work style and expand the employment potential for all people.
Amid the industry’s shift to placing emphasis on the i-Construction concept promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, we KOBELCO Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. have formulated an ICT roadmap based on the theme of “KOBELCO IoT for Creating the Jobsite for Anyone” and have been providing a wide range of solutions. We have been moving ahead a mid- and long-term research and development project as one of the main pillars. That is “K-DIVE CONCEPT (or K-DIVE)”, which is a fusion of the remote operation of construction machinery and a cloud matching system. This new solution enables work on construction sites to be carried out without restriction of specific people, locations, times, etc. Moreover, it leads the high levels of work efficiency and that brings cost reduction and high productivity. Also, it produces various effects such as essential safety by on-site labor-saving. In addition, it also expands the potential for a diverse range of human resources to overcome the severe shortage of skilled construction labor, and helps us achieve “construction site where anyone can work”, which is appealing for a wide range of people.
The baseline of K-DIVE is the remote operation of construction machinery via a telecommunication network. However, the most important feature is that we aim at not only remote operations, but also the creation of a network that covers all functions involved in construction work, such as orders from contractors, operator commission contracts, progress data management and matching operators with contractors, etc. It is difficult for a manufacturer like us to create the entire system including remote operations alone, so it was imperative to collaborate with other companies that have the knowledge, skills and experience in a broad range of fields such as telecommunications, leading-edge technology, survey instrumentation, and construction, and those which empathize with the concept of K-DIVE in “human-centric work style innovation in construction industry.” Fortunately, we were able to find many people and companies enthusiastic about the concept of K-DIVE, and we are currently promoting the development and verification testing of the system in collaboration with Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd., The Sangyo Shinko Co., Ltd., Leica Geosystems AG, Hokkaido Telecommunication Network Co., Inc. and a wide range of other companies. We have been continuing to make the best possible use of the advantages that each of these companies have in their specialty, strengthen our ties, and forge ahead the project to achieve our vision.
K-DIVE began with the establishment of its concept in 2015, and we are currently moving ahead with various verification tests. We have been researching and developing K-DIVE mainly in three steps and gradually aiming at practical implementation. The first step targeted short-range remote operations were carried out from a construction site office with the use of a local wireless communication network. We carried out verification tests on remote operations from a mobile site with the cooperation of a client, and we were able to confirm almost the same level of operability(reaction speed, work efficiency, etc.) compared with the on board operation. We are currently moving ahead with the final stage of development and verification in order to actualize step 1 in 2022. The second step achieves long-range remote operations with the use of a wide-area network connected to optical fiber cables. We are now accelerating our actions to achieve the final objective of integrating a cloud matching system with remote operations in step 3 and that practical implementation is scheduled in 2025.