Bricklaying robots and the future of construction
Brick is one of the oldest materials used in construction, dating back to 7000 BC for sun hardened varieties to kiln-fired blocks in 3500 BC. It is still today used in majority of the building projects for is versatile nature and durability.
Even the method of laying bricks, positioning it, smoothing out excess mortal with trowel has remained the same for millennia.
Now with developments in technology, an Australian based construction firm FBR (previously known as Fastbrick Robotics) has developed Hardian X, a bricklaying robot that is capable of laying bricks on its own without any kind of human intervention.
This technology has the potential to provide far reaching benefits that includes addressing the shortage of housing around the globe. There isn’t enough people to construct houses fast enough where as current situation demands mass construction of buildings.
Bricklaying machines can achieve it by automating the process.
Hardian X at first glance looks like a typical truck mounted crane, but has much more to offer than what meets the eye. Once bricks are loaded into the machine, the machine identifies each block and decides where to lay them.
The machine is also able to cut blocks into quarters, halves or three quarters and store them for later use. The blocks are then fed into a boom transport system which lays out the bricks on logic and patter that has been program into the machine earlier.
Just like Hardian X, SAM 100 is a bricklaying robot developed for onsite brick laying. Designed to work with the mason, assisting with the repetitive and strenuous task of lifting and placing each brick.
The mason will continue to own the site setup and final wall quality, but will improve efficiency through the operation of SAM.
Now with such technologies being introduced into the construction workforce, there’s a concern regarding human workforce becoming obsolete or not necessary. That is not correct as human intervention is still needed. Masons won’t be replaced by these robots, rather this robot will help them doing labor intensive work with precision in a short time. Moreover with time required being reduced, the workforce can work on more number of projects they usually do in a period of time thereby being benifited, in the end.