Not always the technological advancement brings consensus and probably the builder, one of the oldest professions in the world would not want to hear that his work might be replaced by a machine.
Yes, we are talking about a fully automated machine, developed by a company of Perth in Australia, which can build the structure of a brick house in two days. The robot, called Hadrian, can lay 1000 bricks per hour, with the potential to build 150 houses for a year.
The name Hadrian was chosen as a tribute to Hadrian’s Wall, the stone fortification built by the emperor Hadrian along the boundary between the Roman province of Britannia and Caledonia (today’s Scotland).
The inventor Marc Pivac, technical director of Fastbrick Robotics, said:
“A tridimensional computerized design of the structure calculates the position of each brick and use a program to tell the machine to load, cut and place the bricks in sequence using a telescopic arm of 28 meters. The end of the arm lays the mortar or adhesive positioned on each brick. “
In practice, starting from a project drawn in AutoCAD, Hadrian is able to leave space for cables, pipes, equipment, and so on.
It has taken 10 years to complete the project, with a total cost of 5 million Euros. Now the company of investments DMY Capital Ltd has announced the purchase of Fastbrick Robotics and the launch of Hadrian on a large scale.
“We were hooked by this opportunity and we see a huge potential, both domestic and global”,
said the president of the DMY, Gabriel Chiappini.
Fastbrick Robotics is not the only reality that is moving toward automation in the construction sector.
A similar project was also presented by the American Construction Robotics who created the robot Sam (Semi-Automated Mason). Unlike Hadrian, Sam does not entirely replace the mason, but he works at his side making anyway load of bricklaying.
To stay on the subject, let’s move to Switzerland, where a group of experts in robotics and design of the Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication, ETH Zurich has created the IF, which stands for In-situ Fabricator, a robot designed to help hands of the workers of the construction sites and not just bricks will stack. It is the first machine able to move and orient themselves within a construction site in an autonomous and able to change in real time, if necessary, the design of the structures during construction.
Currently, such projects are still being tested, but the premises seem really good, especially if we consider that these robots could be used, if they were to be perfectly reliable, in disadvantaged areas or affected by natural disasters.