In Brief: Engineers in Perth, Australia, have created a full house-building machine that can create the brick framework of a property. Working about 20 times faster than a human bricklayer.
Robots are taking on a growing number of challenges across several industries as they are getting smarter, cheaper and more effective year-on-year. The humble art of bricklaying is now being augmented by advanced robotic technologies.
A robot named Hadrian (after Hadrian’s Wall in the UK) developed by Australian engineers at Fastbrick Robotics, can create the brick framework of a property working about 20 times faster than a human bricklayer. The robot has a top laying speed of 1,000 bricks per hour, which works out as the equivalent of about 150 homes a year.
- A 3D CAD model of the house is fed into the system, and following those instructions, the robot is able to cut and place up to 1,000 bricks per hour, taking into account doors, windows, features and channels for electrical wiring and plumbing. Thin bed mortar or other adhesives are delivered through the boom head.
- At the heart of Hadrian is a 28 m (92 ft) articulated telescopic boom. The robot brick-layer uses information fed from a 3D CAD representation of the home for brick placement, with mortar or adhesive delivered under pressure to the head of the boom. The boom auto-corrects itself 1,000 times per second to prevent interference from vibrations or sway. The concept is similar to the additive manufacturing process used by 3D printers.
The engineers assert that bricks remain the most preferred product for home buyers due to their thermal and acoustic qualities and this machine will keep it cost effective to use them into the future.
As announced in July 2017, Caterpillar has agreed to invest $2 million into the technology, with the option to throw in an extra $8 million down the track if Fastbrick’s shareholders approve. Carterpillar partners with Fastbrick through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development, manufacturing, sales and services of the bricklaying technology.
Links for more information: Fastbrick Robotics
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