Australian robotics company, Fastbrick Robotics, has created a bricklaying robot that lays bricks 20 times faster than a human bricklayer — and is 10 years in the making.
At first glance, this new and innovative technology might seem like a job killer. But in reality, the Australian construction industry is struggling to find bricklayers due to the nature of the back-breaking work.
Improving safety, cutting down on emissions and creating jobs
Fastbrick Robotics CEO Mike Pivac told Gizmag, ‘The machine will fill the void that exists due to shrinking numbers of available bricklayers, whose average age is now nearly 50 in Australia.’ He also said that the robot, named Hadrian, should attract young people back to bricklaying, since robotics is seen as a cool technology.
Evidently, Hadrian is a good thing for construction on many other fronts too. According to Pivac, Hadrian improves site safety, cuts down on emissions, and rather than replacing human jobs, he hopes Hadrian creates them.
On the drastic improvement in construction speed, Pivac commented, ‘The Hadrian reduces the overall construction time of a standard home by approximately six weeks. Due to the high level of accuracy we achieve, most other components like kitchens and bathrooms and roof trusses can be manufactured in parallel and simply fitted as soon as the bricklaying is completed.’ As bricks remain the preferred material for homebuyers due to their thermal and acoustic properties, the machine is expected to keep brick structures cost effective in the future.
Using information from a 3D CAD representation of the home, Hadrian places bricks and mortar together and auto-corrects itself 1,000 times per second to prevent interference from vibrations or sway. It works in a similar fashion to manufacturing processes used by 3D printers.
Seven million Australian dollars have been invested in Hadrian so far, and the new technology is projected to be used commercially for large scale manufacture in 2017.