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Eye spy


Eye spyNew eye-tracking technologies being developed by Australian engineers to identify building defects early in the construction process could save companies millions of dollars, time, and resources.The technology, embedded in 3D headsets, is designed to help construction workers undertake more thorough checklists, cutting down on the estimated 60 per cent of building costs related to fixing mistakes. University of South Australia PhD student Kieran May, computer scientist Dr James Walsh and colleagues from UniSA’s Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments, have designed a tool that combines building information modelling and eye gaze data captured during a standard building inspection. “The augmented reality headsets shoot laser beams out of the bottom of the user’s eye to track where they are looking in a 3D model when they do a building inspection,” Dr Walsh says. The eye-tracking technology validates the checklist process, ensuring that construction workers are doing a thorough inspection by matching their eye gaze data against the 3D architectural building model. “The tool ensures that people doing a building inspection are not just walking through a room, but spending enough time to thoroughly check essential elements, identifying that light switches, taps, cables, or pipes are the correct ones and are properly installed. “Depending on the nature of the build, whether it’s bespoke or more standardised, the temptation is to tick checklist boxes without doing a rigid inspection, and that can cost thousands of dollars if defects are not picked up early on.” Dr Walsh says the eye-tracking data does not replace a checklist, but validates it, so defects must still be manually recorded. A video explaining the technology is available at: https://youtu.be/m5jhWzcl_v8 “Recent population growth directly links to our housing needs. Without a clear policy on skilled migration for both the short and the long term, it is extremely difficult for the home building industry to prepare and meet the demand for housing which is already at crushing highs,” said Jocelyn Martin Deputy Managing Director, Industry and Policy, HIA. “Australia is experiencing a relatively fast rate of population growth. There are extensive economic benefits to a healthy immigration intake, particularly in terms of ensuring we have adequate working age people against a backdrop of Australia’s ageing population. “And there is an important role for skilled migration to increase skilled trades workers, particularly where acute demand emerges as is presently the case. “But the residential building industry requires migration pathways to enable the long-term structural shortage of workers to be addressed through permanent migration, and pathways that enable industry to recruit skilled workers for short periods to alleviate acute shortages. “While permanent and short-term visas are part of Australia’s skilled migration program and the building trades that have been in the most acute shortages are included on lists of eligible occupations, there has been very little take up within the construction industry, particularly the residential building industry. “Several aspects of these visas render them impractical for use by residential building businesses. “In its Federal Budget submission to the Australian Government, HIA is urging government consult with industry to develop a visa that will enable the residential building industry to alleviate trade shortages through skilled migration. “Growth in Australia’s population is essential for the economy to thrive, but at the same time, we must ensure that that growth is accompanied by sufficient housing supply to meet growing demand, “Australia should promote and maintain a population growth rate sufficient to secure ongoing growth in Australia’s economic performance, workforce capacity, national productivity and standard of living, concluded Ms Martin

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