Developed by the Australia-based company Fastbrick Robotics, Hadrian X is a bricklaying robot that was designed to build a whole house in just two days. The computer aided design (CADCAM) process allows builders to upload a file of the design, and the robot cuts the bricks to the required size, before feeding them into a conveyor belt; bricks are then coated with an adhesive, removing the need for mortar in the building process.
The robot can lay up to 1,000 bricks per hour, which is 20-30 times faster than humans, and, according to the company’s website, works on almost any block size. And since the robot’s laser-guided process removes the possibility of human error, it cuts the need for verification – a process that bricklayers have to stop and do at regular intervals in their work to ensure that walls are straight and aligned. The robot’s stabilization system allows it to operate outdoors and in windy conditions.
The robot, which was originally designed to make up for labor shortages, was also found to cut construction waste and save enough money to make it a viable tool for building low-cost housing.
According to CEO of Fastbrick Robotics Mike Pivac, the company has spent the past 10 years developing the robot, although they now realize that the need for the robot may be greater than when they started working on it. “If we’re going to satisfy the global need for low-cost housing over the next 30 years, as we add another 3 million people to the plant, we see solutions like this as being very, very important. And we want to do that in as environmentally sustainable a way as possible,” Pivac told Fast.co.
The system provides architects and homeowners with feedback, indicating the cost and volume of material wasted, allowing them to make environmentally conscious choices. One of the other perks of eliminating human error is eliminating human accidents as well.
Far from being a tool for wealthy countries short on labor like Australia, the makers of Hadrian X have received requests from countries like Brazil and South Africa looking to build low-cost housing. Other potential applications could be temporary humanitarian shelters for refugees.
The company will begin building low-cost housing Australia late next year and has plans to manufacture 8,000 robots over the next decade.