A fast-moving robot is about to change the construction industry.
Fast Brick Robotics is bringing revolutionary efficiency to the art of building with bricks. The Perth-based company’s new robot, Hadrian X, can lay up to 1000 bricks an hour. It’s capable of building a house in 2 days and never requires a union break. That could mean cutting building time by 6 weeks on residential homes.
The truck-mounted robotic arm is part of Fast Brick’s new industrial 3D printing system. First, the design is programmed using proprietary TAD software (The Architectural Designer). Then the robot builds according to the plan. The software can also dole out jobs to contractors, purchase materials, and send invoices. A smartphone or tablet can be used to control the system.
During a build, bricks move along the 30-foot robotic arm’s conveyor belt. Each is brick is fed to a pair of metal grippers and positioned. A laser alignment system allows placement within a stunning 0.5-millimeter accuracy. In addition, the robot automatically leaves channels and spaces for pipes, wiring, windows, and doors.
In addition to placing bricks, Hadrian can also load, cut, and glue them. It automatically coats each brick with a layer of construction adhesive. Replacing traditional mortar makes buildings more thermally efficient and improves acoustics. Families and businesses can look forward to savings in heating and cooling costs.
Bricks can be as large as half a meter wide – the size of 15 standard bricks. Interlocking shapes lend greater accuracy and stability to each structure. Furthermore, once walls are built, the next stage of construction can begin right away.
Fast Brick Robotics sees its new industrial 3-D printing system as a way to satisfy a hungry $100+ billion-dollar housing market. It may also be useful in climates where construction must take place in a short window of time because of sudden difficult weather patterns.
The company plans to make the Hadrian X commercially available beginning in 2017.