Construction automation: Research areas, industry concerns and suggestions for advancement

Qian Chen, Borja García de Soto, Bryan T. Adey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Construction automation has shown the potential to increase construction productivity after years of technical development and experimenting in its field. Exactly how, and the possible benefits and challenges of construction automation, though is unclear and missing from current research efforts. In order to better understand the comprehensive potential of construction automation for increasing construction productivity and the associated possible ramifications, an objective and data-driven review of the use of automation technologies in construction was done. The review was accomplished by using text mining methods on publically available written documents, covering a wide range of relevant data including scientific publications and social media. The text mining software VOS Viewer and RapidMiner Studio were used to determine the most promising areas of research through the analysis of scientific publications, and the main areas of concern of industry through the analysis of text on social media, respectively. These research areas and concerns are summarized in this paper, and based on them suggestions for industry are made to help advance the uptake of automation in construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-38
Number of pages17
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Cluster mapping
  • Construction automation technologies
  • Text mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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