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Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd.

Joint Research and Development of “Bar Arrangement Inspection System” Using Artificial Intelligence Image Analysis Technology
   - Initiatives of twenty general contractors to improve the efficiency of bar arrangement inspection -

Tokyo, Japan – Mar. 9, 2020 – We hereby announce that twenty general contracting companies (listed below, hereinafter called “general contractors”) have signed a Joint Research and Development (R&D) Agreement for “Bar Arrangement Inspection System” using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and image analysis. Since April 2019, the general contractors have been actively involved in this R&D. Through this R&D, we are aiming to develop a system which enables efficient and precise reinforcement arrangement at construction sites, regardless of skill level of the construction managers, in an effort to provide our clients with high-quality buildings.

Further, in this R&D, we will strive to develop a system that integrates two separate features; “Bar arrangement checking function” for providing support in rebar works using a tablet terminal, and “Bar arrangement inspection function” for improving inspection efficiency using a special camera. In 2020, we plan to start a trial of the “Bar arrangement checking function” to construction sites.

Although similar systems have been studied by various companies so far, they usually required a high level of BIM operation skills or specialized devices, which made it difficult to widely make use of these systems at construction sites or precast manufacturing facilities. To tackle this issue, we developed a user-friendly system which eliminates the need for skill level or specialized devices, and allows any staff or worker to select a BIM 3D model component from a tablet terminal and input the installation plan and results. The workers can also have an easy and quick access to the latest information from smart phone by QR code.

Implementation concept of “Bar arrangement inspection system”

1.Background of the development
Recently, in the frame work of construction/civil engineering projects, shortage of skilled workers and the strictness of quality control have become remarkable. In light of the issues related to the social background, the general contractors team have decided to work jointly on research and development to apply the rapidly progressing AI technologies to bar arrangement checking and inspection, aiming to enhance construction quality and to improve inspection efficiently.

2.Outline of the System
We intend to utilize an AI engine to compile a database from required construction data for both “Bar arrangement checking function” and “Bar arrangement inspection function”. The basic format for the database will be later established in this R&D.
In the “Bar arrangement checking function”, the system acquires information from the photographs taken and computes the rebar diameters, numbers and pitches by applying deep-learning and image-processing technologies.
In the “Bar arrangement inspection function”, the system automatically measures the bar arrangement in three dimensions by photographing the subject reinforcement. At the time of data entry into bar arrangement inspection report, the data will be translated and crosschecked to match the inspection items, rendering the bar arrangement inspection semi-automatic.

3.Future development
We intend to update and improve the system performance by continuous on-site trials and through experiences at construction sites of each member company.
The framework of this joint research is unique, because each member can benefit from various findings and ideas from other member companies, leading to a greater achievement in a shorter period of time. Through this R&D, AI technology will hopefully provide solution to universal technological issues for general contractors, further enhancing the technological capabilities of the entire construction industry.

20 participating companies in R&D (in Japanese alphabetical order)

Asunaro Aoki Construction Co.,Ltd.,  Asanuma Corporation,
Hazama Ando Corporation,  Okumura Corporation,
Kitano Construction Corporation Kumagai Gumi Co., Ltd.,
Penta-Ocean Construction Co., Ltd.,  Sato Kogyo Co., Ltd.,
Daisue Construction Co., Ltd.,  Takamatsu Construction Co., Ltd.,
Tekken Corporation,  Tokyu Construction Co., Ltd.,
Toda Corporation,  Tobishima Corporation,  Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.,
JDC Corporation,  Haseko Corporation,  P.S. Mitsubishi Construction Co., Ltd.,
MATSUMURA-GUMI Corporation,  Yahagi Construction Co., Ltd.