Rent-a-robot idea brings creative spark back to building industry

Social Innovation

UCalgary architecture prof, and current Research to Social Innovation Incubator (R2SI) fellow, Alicia Nahmad trains robots to lend an electronic hand in construction

For every flourish of creativity on a construction site, there’s hours of mind-numbing repetition, whether it’s cutting, fastening or forming. But what if mobile, rentable robots armed with tools could tackle the tedious work, freeing up people to pursue interesting tasks and ideas? Returning that creative time to construction workers is a key motivator for the founder of MI Toolbox, and Dr. Alicia Nahmad, PhD, says she imagines a less-repetitive building industry will help reinvigorate the trade.

“The idea is not about taking away jobs, it’s about taking away the boring, and bringing back the skill into the trade,” says Nahmad, assistant professor in UCalgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

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