A new generation of bricklaying robot, known as the Hadrian X, has recently set a speed record in its first outdoor test build. Created by Australian company FBR (formerly Fastbrick Robotics), the robot is capable of laying up to 300 large masonry blocks an hour using its 32-meter boom arm. This impressive rate of production is about 20 times faster than human bricklayers.
The Hadrian X has come a long way since its prototype stage as an excavator-mounted robot in 2015. Back then, it could construct the brick framework for a full-sized home in just two days. Now, in 2023, FBR has introduced its first “next gen” Hadrian-X system, which demonstrates even greater speed and efficiency.
During the recent outdoor test build, the Hadrian X achieved a sustained rate of over 300 USA-format masonry blocks per hour. When considering the largest blocks it can handle, which measure 600 x 400 x 300 mm and weigh 45 kg, the robot is capable of constructing around 70 sq m of vertical wall every hour. This is roughly equivalent to a quarter of a tennis court. FBR expects the robot to become even faster, with a rated top speed of 500 blocks per hour.
Operating the Hadrian X is simple and precise. The robot follows a CAD plan and is controlled through a tablet. Workers load masonry blocks onto the truck by pallets, and “dehacker” robots unpack and cut them if necessary. The blocks are then sent down the boom arm on shuttles, coated with a special construction adhesive instead of mortar, and securely laid in place. Within 45 minutes, the bricks are dry and solid.
The Hadrian X’s telescoping boom arm is long enough to construct three-story structures from street level, eliminating the need for ladders. Additionally, the robot can work continuously and is designed to operate under various weather conditions.
While the initial test build revealed some minor inaccuracies in brick placement, FBR is confident that these issues will be resolved in future versions of the robot. Currently, FBR has two more robots under construction, and the first and second robots will soon be sent to the USA for demonstrations and to work in FBR’s Florida-based “Wall as a Service” business.
The introduction of the Hadrian X and other bricklaying robots has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry. These robots significantly increase construction speed, reduce reliance on manual labor, and enhance the precision and quality of bricklaying. As FBR continues to improve and refine its technology, the future of construction looks increasingly efficient and automated.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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