San Francisco: Robots have moved into factories, warehouses, stores and even our homes. Now they’re heading to a construction site near you.

Backed by Silicon Valley money, tech startups are developing self-driving bulldozers, drones to inspect work sites and robots that can lay bricks faster than human and work without lunch breaks.

The construction industry hopes that robots and other technologies will help contractors manage a shortage of skilled labour. The machines could also boost productivity, safety and speed at a time when the country is struggling to build affordable housing and fix ageing infrastructure.

Analysts say automation could displace some construction workers and require others to learn new skills in order to work with complex machines.