Komatsu, Asunaro Aoki Construction team up to introduce underwater construction robots of the future

Komatsu and Asunaro Aoki Construction have announced that they will present ‘Underwater Construction of the Future’ at the ‘Future Life Expo: Future City’ of the Future Society Showcase Project for Expo 2025 Osaka in Kansai, Japan. The solution will feature cutting-edge technologies, including super remote control, unmanned construction and underwater electric drive.

Komatsu developed its radio-controlled amphibious bulldozer in 1971 and has sold 36 units in Japan and overseas. Asunaro Aoki Construction owns all five of the units still in operation today and has carried out more than 1,200 underwater construction projects, including post-disaster reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The two companies said that in recent years, there has been a growing need for construction work at the dangerous water’s edge and in shallow water areas in order to respond to disaster prevention and post-disaster recovery from natural disasters. Such conditions are becoming more severe and frequent due to climate change as well as the impending massive earthquakes. In addition, the construction industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers due to the declining birth rate and ageing population.

To solve these issues, Komatsu and Asunaro Aoki Construction are working together to demonstrate underwater electric construction robots that can be operated at depths of up to 50 m without skilled techniques through automatic control and ICT functions. Both companies are also striving for ‘underwater construction of the future’, a solution that enables ultra-remote operation of underwater construction robots from a safe and comfortable office, based on a construction plan optimised by AI analysis, combining 3D survey, design, and construction data with big data, such as weather data and construction history.

According to Komatsu and Asunaro Aoki Construction, they are confident that this underwater construction of the future solution – with its reduced workforce, greater efficiency and improved safety – will revolutionise conventional construction work, enabling anyone to play an active role and realise faster construction work.