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Technology platforms and robotics for dam construction

Dams are a feature of the landscape in every corner of Japan, 
a country in which river flooding and water shortages 
have been a regular occurrence since ancient times.

Their construction is a huge undertaking that requires an enormous amount of time. 
Not only is it necessary to secure a large work force over a long period of time, 
but it is also difficult to pass on techniques due to the limited number of dam construction projects.


Therefore, Obayashi Corporation has developed a variety of information-oriented construction technologies 
that fuse together the construction techniques amassed through its considerable experience in dam construction
with digital technologies such as ICT, IoT, and AI, bringing them 
together as Obayashi-Dam Innovative Construction Technology (ODICT®︎).

These technologies would be selected and applied according 
to the specific type of dam construction being undertaken.

In the first project using ODICT®︎, over 20 different technological solutions, 
including some which had newly been developed, are being applied at each stage of
the construction of Kawakami Dam
(Iga City, Mie Prefecture),

which began in 2017. A number of robotics technologies have been adopted to 
enable remote and automated operations throughout the entire construction process.


  • Remote operation of construction 
    machinery using 5G
  • Autonomous crane operation
  • Automated green cutting operation
  • Automated sliding system 
    for dam formwork
  • Automated concrete transportation 
    using tower cranes
  • Automatic Dump Truck System
  • Surrogate
  • Surrogate
  • Vehicle management system using infrared camera
  • Concrete construction management system
  • Dam concrete compaction determination system
  • Initiatives for CIM in construction
  • Envital

In Focus

Autonomous Tower
Crane Operation System

In this system, AI generates the optimum transportation course automatically on CPS (Cyber Physical Systems) built with BIM/CIM data and point group data acquired by 3D-LiDAR , and operates a tower crane autonomously.


In addition, construction machinery such as excavators have been equipped with the compact and easily attachable/detachable SURROGATE general-purpose remote control devices, which make it possible to switch between manned and remotely controlled unmanned operations depending on the level of danger and working conditions at the site.

Automatic operation

Furthermore, in 2020, a field test of automatically operated large dump trucks was conducted at a site with narrow curves and steep gradients, while manned dump trucks were coming and going from the site. The plan from now on is to further the development of technology which enables integrated operations from loading to transporting and unloading, as well as the operation of multiple autonomous vehicles.

Automatic Dump Truck System
Other automatic operation technology: Automated green cutting operation

The autonomization of heavy machinery and dump trucks, 
which make up the bulk of civil engineering work, 
is something the company is working toward achieving in the not-too-distant future.