What combines robotics, lasers, and the ability to build a house in under three days? If you answered the FBR Hadrian X bricklaying robot, you’d be correct. If you’ve yet to hear about the machine that’s completely revolutionising the house-building industry, then welcome – you’re going to be amazed.
Three Bedrooms, Two Baths, in Less Than Three Days.
After just having successfully built its first three-bedroom house in less than three days, it’s clear that the Hadrian X robot will be the future of bricklaying. With its ability to construct an 180m2 house which includes two bathrooms and three bedrooms up to the current relevant building standards, we need to sit back and reflect on whether this new technology will be the answer to our rapidly growing population issue.
Before anyone bemoans the brickies and tradies out there, let’s first focus on the fact that as it stands there are often less bricklayers available than there is demand for them. While the laborious task of bricklaying is a skill that is able to be taught within a matter of days, the higher-level understanding of building codes and the ability to understand the intricacies of the right dimensions in order to ensure the building is square and the windows and doors wind up in the correct places takes a full apprenticeship and years of training.
You promised us robots.
Enter, Hadrian X. As it stands, the Hadrian-X is a 25-tonne machine with a reach of 28 metres. With a boom big enough to reach over the entire building site, the robot could potentially sit on the back of a truck and be moved around a building site for multiple dwellings, or the next house in an estate.
What about the technology? Like any good nerds would be, here at Activ8me we were particularly excited to learn that the Hadrian-X combines several different technologies in order to build a house. Initially, a builder or architect supplies a 3D model of the house needing to be built. Then, the building design is converted into machine code that calculates the location of every brick that is present in the plan. Once the concrete slab has been laid, laser-scanning technology is used to get a “picture” of the site. Finally, the Hadrian-X loads and lays bricks using proprietary stabilisation equipment in the robotic laying head, and its inbuilt laser alignment system makes sure that the accuracy of each brick being laid is within half a millimetre. All this and we haven’t even mentioned the specialised bricks or adhesive.
The genius behind the idea for the bricklaying robot is Mark Pivac, who comes to the project as a mechanical engineer with 25 years of technology equipment experience and 20 years of experience with 3D CAD software. Combine this experience with high level mathematics, robot transformations, and vector mathematics for machine motion and it’s no wonder that the Hadrian-X has caught the eye of global construction manufacturer Caterpillar. The US corporation has so far invested millions into the project and has come on board to collaborate on the manufacturing, development, services, and sales of the technology.
For more information, see Fastbrick’s website.