Remote-Controlled Demolition Robot

The remote controlled demolition robot is a mechanized system that is fit with various attachments to perform demolition jobs.

Description:

A remote-controlled demolition robot is an engineering control that may help reduce stressful hand & wrist activity, overhead work, and exposure to hand-arm vibration during demolition tasks.  The robot allows the worker to control the arm and attachment remotely without manually operating demolition tools.

 

The Husqvarna DXR 310 comes with a telescoping arm that can reach up to 18 feet and weighs 4321 lbs.  The DXR 250 comes with a dozer blade attached to the unit and weighs about 3570 lbs.  The DXR 140 comes standard with a 360° rotating arm and weighs about 2150 lbs.  The DXR 250 can reach heights up to 14¾ feet and the DXR 140 can reach 12 feet.  The width of all models is 31 inches.

The Brokk demolition robot is available in various unit weights ranging from 1,102 lbs. to 24,890 lbs., widths ranging from 23 inches to 7 feet, vertical reach ranging from 10 feet to 23 feet, and horizontal reach ranging from 8 feet to 22 feet.  Brokk can also custom design units for specific job needs.

The Stanley F16 demolition robot weighs 3,417 lbs., is 31 inches wide, has a vertical reach of 16 feet, and has a telescoping boom. 

Attachments for the arm include a pneumatic breaker (Figure 1), bucket (Figure 2), pneumatic crusher (Figure 3), metal shears (Figure 4), grapples (Figure 5), concrete scrabbler (Figure 6), planer (Figure 7), drill (Figure 8), and chop saw (Figure 9).  To determine the availability of an attachment for a specific model of a demolition robot please contact manufacturer.  All attachments must be purchased separately. 

Figure 1. Demolition robot with pneumatic breaker attached.

Fig. 2. Bucket attachment. 

Fig. 3. Pneumatic crusher attachment. 

Fig. 4. Metal shear attachment. 

Fig. 5. Grapple attachment.

Fig. 6. Concrete scrabbler attachment.

Fig. 7. Planer attachment.

Fig. 8. Drill attachment.

Fig. 9. Chop saw attachment.

All models come standard with outriggers, a remote control, and tracks (Figure 1). 

 

Risks Addressed:

Stressful hand and wrist activity and hand arm vibration can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as muscle strains; tendonitis, which is inflammation of elbow and wrist tendons; or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is compression of a wrist nerve, resulting in finger numbness and loss of hand strength.  The remote controlled demolition robot reduces stressful hand and wrist activity and hand arm vibration by eliminating the need for workers to manually operate pneumatic tools during demolition. 

Overhead work can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as shoulder muscle strains; tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendons; or rotator cuff tears, which is a rupture of a shoulder tendon.  The remote controlled demolition robot reduces overhead work by eliminating the need for workers to manually operate pneumatic tools during demolition.    


How Risks are Reduced:

Traditional concrete demolition and removal with manual and powered tools requires workers to lift and operate pneumatic hammers that vary in weight and shape at various positions.  Performing these tasks may expose workers to stressful hand and wrist activities, hand-arm vibration, and overhead work and may increase the risk of MSDs.  The remote controlled demolition robot reduces the need for workers to manually operate pneumatic tools during demolition.

Manufacturers state that the remote controlled demolition robot allows, “safe, efficient, powerful and profitable demolition” by eliminating the need for workers to manually operate demolition tools.

Safety and health experts believe that reducing exposure to stressful hand & wrist activity reduces the risk of hand and arm MSDs such as muscle strains, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.  The remote controlled demolition robot eliminates the need for workers to manually handle and operate pneumatic demolition tools during demolition. 

Safety and health experts believe reducing exposure to overhead work reduces the risk of shoulder injuries such as muscle strains, tendonitis, or rotator cuff tears.  Working with the arms elevated above the shoulders increases the risk of shoulder pain and tendonitis (Svendsen et al. 2004).  Combinations of risk factors, such as overhead work with vibrating tools, are more likely to have long lasting shoulder injuries (Grooten et al. 2007).  The remote controlled demolition robot reduces the amount of overhead work performed by workers during overhead demolition. 

Safety and health experts believe that reducing exposure to hand-arm vibration reduces the risk of injuries such as hand-arm vibration syndrome, Raynaud’s Syndrome, and vibration white finger (Bernard et al. 1997).  The remote controlled demolition robot reduces the amount of exposure to hand-arm vibration during demolition.


Effects on Productivity:

The remote controlled demolition robot may increase productivity. 


Additional Considerations:

The remote-controlled demolition robot may not be able to access all jobsites.  Additionally, the remote controlled demolition robot may not be practical for companies that do not specialize in demolitions due to the cost of the units.


Contributors:

 

Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; and Jonathan Braun, SPT – Eastern Washington University


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Husqvarna, DXR 310, 250, 140
To obtain information, visit DXR 310 and DXR 250 and DXR 140 or contact 1-800-288-5040

Stanley Labounty, F16 Remote Controlled Demolition Robot
To obtain information, visit http://www.stanleyhydraulic.com/ or contact 1-800-522-5059

Brokk 50, 90, 100, 160, 180, 260, 330D, 400, 800S, 800P
To obtain information, visit http://www.brokk.com/us/ or contact 1-800-621-7856 info@brokkinc.com

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.