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Aghimien, D O, Aigbavboa, C O, Oke, A E and Thwala, W D (2019) Mapping out research focus for robotics and automation research in construction-related studies. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , 18(05), 1063–79.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Robots; Additive manufacturing; Automation; Autonomous robots; Digitalization; Construction robotics; Construction; Robotics;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 1726-0531
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-09-2019-0237
  • Abstract:
    The adoption of robotics and automation (R&A) within the construction industry has been adjudged as slow, despite the possibility of it reducing the high risk posed on health and safety of humans by the activities of the industry. The call for research and development in this area of technology to improve its adoption in the delivery of construction projects is evident in past studies. Thus, this paper aims to conduct a review of R&A in construction-related fields with a view to revealing the area of focus of past studies. Design/methodology/approach A bibliometric approach was adopted for this study, and data used were gathered from the Scopus database. Keywords such as “robotics”, “automation” and “construction” were used to extract papers from the database. VOSviewer was used to prepare a co-authorship and co-occurrence map based on the bibliographic data gathered. Findings The findings revealed that focus is placed on construction automation, industrial robots and application, robots’ systems and designs, robotics in earthworks, and robots’ control and information system. Furthermore, currently, research focus in this area is tending towards a more digitalised application of R&A especially in the areas of 3D manufacturing. Research limitations/implications The findings of this study are limited due to the use of a single database. Practical implications Despite its limitations, the findings open a knowledge gap that can be explored in developing countries particularly in Africa to improve construction delivery in the continent through R&A. Originality/value The study adopted the bibliometric approach in mapping out research focus in R&A – an aspect of digital technology that has not been given considerable attention in recent bibliometric and scientometric studies.