New robot eases back-breaking work on construction projects

A new robot is turning back-breaking work into a cinch at a local Michigan company.

The Mule is an automated robot created in New York that can carry out a task with workers to help.

"In this case, the Mule product that we're demonstrating is helping the worker because the worker is still moving the block but they're doing it weightlessly due to the benefit of the technology assist," said Tom Porter with Barton Malow.

The Mule is already working in Grayling, Michigan on a project.  Block by block it's a breeze, up to 135 pounds lifted by the robot. The reason for the machine? Productivity and also fatigue. The more tired a worker gets the greater chance of mistakes leading to injury.

"Just the repetition of it. And your elbows, your back. Up-and-down all day. One guy can set this up and just start setting blocks all by himself, it doesn't take two people," said Jeff Wilkins, a construction worker with Barton Malow.

Executives at Barton Malow say while this is the first time we're seeing it, get used to the Mule in Michigan.