Intelligent Construction: Robot Lays 1,000 Bricks An Hour

A construction crew takes about four to six weeks to build a home, but some homebuilders have chosen to automate part of the process to save time.

Fastbrick Robotics, a Perth-based company developed a new robot that may be the fastest option available. This machine, named the Hadrian X, is a long robotic arm that fits onto a truck, barge or crane. Working from a 3D model, the machine makes its own bricks and applies its adhesive. It feeds pieces to the end of the arm, which sets them in place using a conveyor belt.

The Hadrian X is capable of laying over 1,000 standard bricks per hour, according to Kiel Chivers, the company’s director of corporate affairs.

Fastbrick intends to develop its first house later this year. It will include two bathrooms and three bedrooms. The structure’s finishes will include windows, doors, and electrical and plumbing systems. The robot was able to build the frame of a small house in just two days. The company does not know when it will start selling the machines.

Because the robot grinds and mills its own bricks, it can create custom fits perfectly. The Hadrian X can manage bricks as big as 2,000 cubic inches according to Chivers. A standard brick usually measures 115 cubic inches.

The technology has the potential to improve speed, safety, and accuracy during construction while lowering labor costs, Fastbrick says.

This robot has the potential to disrupt a multi-trillion-dollar global construction market with its superhuman construction speed. There is a shortage of brick-layers in America, and demand may only increase. As many American cities keep growing in size and population, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that masonry jobs will see a 15% increase by 2025.

“Young people no longer see brick-laying as an attractive career due to the dull, dirty, and dangerous nature of the work,” Chivers said.

Chivers said Fastbrick produced the machine in an effort to combat the shortage of bricklayers in the US, UK, and Australia.