Australia’s one-armed bricklaying robot has shifted to a secret base

Building its first house — the one-armed robot bricklayer. FBR

Australia’s one-armed robot bricklayer, which this month was credited to have built a house in just three days, has moved to a secret location.

Mike Pivac, the CEO of Robotic technology company FBR, told the AGM that the Hadrian X, the commercial version of the robot, was shifted to a “secret, secure” location.

“This was partly due to the physical constraints of our (Perth) High Wycombe facility, and partly to ensure our people were able to concentrate on getting the job done without the daily distractions that come with being part of a company that attracts the public interest,” he says.

The company announced last week that the Hadrian X built a 180 square metre, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in less than the targeted three days.

“The learning experience in this testing phase was significant,” Pivac told shareholders.

“We now know what we need to do to further improve the current model of the Hadrian X ahead of deploying it in the field, and our engineers have already commenced making refinements to the robot that built the first full home structure to further optimise its performance.

“Our FBR team is probably the most well credentialed robotics team in Australia, and, in my view, one of the best teams in the world.

“The fact that we have been able to achieve something that the rest of the world has been trying to do for over a hundred years is a testament to that.”

The company is now working on commercialising the technology.

FBR and US-based construction machinery giant Caterpillar Inc in July this year extended a collaboration on the development of the one-armed robot bricklayer.

The deal extends the term of a Memorandum of Understanding signed 12 months ago. Caterpillar, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, then invested $US2 million ($AU2.6 million) in Fastbrick Robotics.

Caterpillar now has the option to buy $US10 million ($AU13.5 million) in shares at $0.24 until the end of January 2019.