Robot Bricklaying is Here in New FBR Brickworks Joint Venture
A robot could soon be building houses in Australia, as Brickworks has signed a new deal with robotics company FBR to test the use of the Hadrian X for commercial projects.
Each company owns an equal stake of the new venture, a subsidiary company called Fastbrick Australia.
As one of Australia’s largest brick businesses, Brickworks will exclusively supply a specially-designed and optimised masonry brick to use with the truck-mounted Hadrian X, an automated machine which uses lasers to guide the blocks into place.
The Fastbrick offering will go to market as Wall as a Service™, which the companies hope to scale globally. In Australia, the service will be offered for residential homes under commercial building contracts.
In December of last year, FBR announced that the Hadrian X had successfully completed the brickwork for a 3 bed, 2 bath residence in just three days.
The machine, capable of laying a masonry block every 40-55 seconds, is set to be further optimised under the deal with FBR aiming to improve speed by up to four times.
With each masonry block equivalent to 12 standard bricks, it draws an interesting comparison to their human counterparts. A human bricklayer will place on average 300-500 bricks in a day’s work.
“Fastbrick Australia provides FBR with an opportunity in Australia to demonstrate the capabilities of the Hadrian X with the new optimised blocks developed with Brickworks,” said Mike Pivac, FBR’s Chief Executive Officer.
The joint venture lends the opportunity to “test the commercialisation” of the concept, says Brickworks Managing Director Lindsay Partridge.
The venture has an initial term of three years, which may be extended if both parties agree.
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