The Robotics Lab: The Team Behind the Machine
At Hilti, we have a vision. In the not-too-distant future, jobsite robots will streamline construction processes and help our customers to build better by completing repetitive, strenuous tasks while also enhancing safety and productivity for workers. Meet the team that turns the vision into reality.
Jaibot, Hilti’s autonomous construction robot, can drill over 1000 holes per day, up to a ceiling height of five meters in the process. It also removes the dust it generates to leave the jobsite clean. As one would expect with a robot, it delivers constant, predictably reliable results. But there is more: When the going gets tough, Jaibot turns into a real team player. On the jobsite, it does the heavy lifting so that customers can focus on what really matters. And while they do that, Jaibot will report the construction team’s progress to the back office. Just like that; no frills, all business.
Real team players are also what one finds when meeting the people behind the Jaibot. Hilti’s new Robotics Lab is responsible for developing and testing new concepts of automation that help our customers to build more productively, safer and more sustainably. And because these types of solution can sometimes be very complex, each member also needs to be a true bridge builder who can connect the dots between customers, suppliers, start-ups and internal stakeholders.
The team’s background is quite diverse and ranges from hardware and software engineers, industrial designers and customer experience specialists to application experts. As with any start-up, there is much to do and few hands to do it. Thus, in addition to expert knowledge, an entrepreneurial mindset is required. To help understand exactly what the customer wants and needs, the team not only puts the hardware in the loop, but also includes the customers, too. This quickly generates very valuable insights:
Can we really...
...reduce the time needed to complete a task that meets required standards?
...reduce the cost of labor involved and the cost of rework due to errors?
...free up the workforce to focus on other tasks?
Digitalization and, specifically, automation of the right processes offer real opportunities to significantly enhance safety and productivity on the jobsite. These two aspects alone account for 90 percent of the pain points raised by our customers, and the construction industry in general. Helping customers build better, faster and safer is exactly what we are doing.Julia Zanona, Product Manager
Hilti invests a substantial amount of money in this area, and it is the team’s job to spend it wisely. But working on the bleeding edge means that failure is always an option. The key is to quickly recognize this, learn what went wrong and do better.Ruediger Wagner, Head of Open Technology Innovation and Robotics
It is clear that Julia and her colleagues are on a mission, carried by a culture that fosters innovation and cultivates a spirit of breaking new ground.
“Hilti invests a substantial amount of money in this area, and it is the team’s job to spend it wisely. But working on the bleeding edge means that failure is always an option. The key is to quickly recognize this, learn what went wrong and do better,” says Ruediger Wagner, Head of Open Technology Innovation and Robotics. “This is where Hilti’s culture plays a vital role. We acknowledge that failure will happen; it’s what one does next, how one reacts to the failure, that sets the tone. Teamwork, along with individual ownership, accountability and the will to be the best at what we do, form the foundation for creating the technological advances that will help our customers.”
A project like this can only happen when all of our team members pull in the same direction. Hilti’s Robotics Team, along with our roughly 32,000 worldwide employees, are working to ensure that our vision of making construction better isn’t so far off in the future after all.