Fastbrick Robotics, an ASX-listed company based in Perth, has created a robot brick layer, a form of 3D printing which can create the shell of a house without being touched by human hands.
The Hadrian 105 robot, named after the Roman emperor who built a wall in ancient Britain, has hit a bricklaying speed of 225 standard brick equivalents per hour, or about half a day’s work for a top human bricklayer.
To prove it, the company released a time lapse video, showing the robot at work. Here’s the robot, doing everything with one arm, laying over-sized bricks, following a laser guided system:
The demonstration was designed to ensure that all of the complex characteristics of a brick house can be handled by the Hadrian 105 robot.
The vision at Fastbrick Robotics is to create a machine which can complete the brickwork of a home in three days at lower cost and higher quality than traditional methods.
The company has started building the next prototype, Hadrian X, which will have a capacity of up to 1,000 standard brick equivalents an hour via a 30 metre boom, with everything being delivered to a building site on the back of a truck.
That is double the daily output of a top bricklayer in just one hour.
“We are a frontier technology company, and we’re one step closer to bringing fully automated, end-to-end 3D printing brick construction into the mainstream,” says Fastbrick CEO Mike Pivac.
“We’re very excited to be taking the world-first technology we proved with the Hadrian 105 demonstrator and manufacturing a state-of-the-art machine.”
The bricklaying market in Australia, UK, US and Canada is worth about $12 billion.
Fastbrick Robotics says the competitive advantages with its system include savings in time and costs plus better quality and safety of construction.
The housing boom has pushed up the cost of bricklayers in Australia. In Sydney, the cost of laying 1000 bricks is about $1500 and heading to $2000.
At 300 to 500 bricks a day, a brickie can earn between $600 and $1000.
Brickworks Ltd, in its latest half year profit results, said: “The strong demand on the east coast is resulting in trade shortages.”
Fastbrick listed on the ASX in November in a reverse takeover of DMY Capital. An oversubscribed IPO raised $5.75 million at 2 cents a share.
It’s currently trading at 2.2 cents but has been as high as 3.6 cents.