Posted in | Automotive Robotics

Using Robots to Develop the Construction Industry

Fastbrick Robotics has developed the world’s first end-to-end, in-situ construction robot that can speed up housing construction while also being safer and more economically viable.

Image credit: bogdanhoda/shutterstock

As housing demands increase, there has been a shortage of skilled labor and Fastbrick Robotics believes that they have come up with the perfect solution; Hadrian X, the bricklaying robot. This large robot is fully equipped with specialized construction technology and is said to be able to build a house, from the ground up, in just two days.

While Hadrian X is not the first industrial robot that can completely build a house from start to finish, it is the first one that can do so on site.

In an interview with Phys.org, Fastbrick Robotics CEO, Mike Pivac announced his confidence in the future of robotics use in the construction industry.

"Anything you can build inside a factory … we're getting really, really good at. Trouble is, nothing's happening outdoors." Pivac explains.

This is believed to be mostly due to environmental factors, such as wind and temperature as these can lead to engineering problems on large-scale projects. Often, robots are not equipped to make adjustments fast enough to keep up with changing wind and temperature variations and therefore bricks could be misaligned or laid in error. Constructing homes inside factories in order to minimize these external factors.

However, construction robot, Hadrian X, is able to overcome the elements by using Dynamic Stabilization Technology, also known as DST. The precision computer program, developed by Mike’s cousin, Mark Pivac, measures the essential environmental factors up to 2000 times a second. This allow the robot to adjust for these factors in real time.

In addition to this, the robot uses CAD modelling in order to lay bricks with an error margin of 1 millimeter. This is more precise than even an experienced bricklayer could be, and much faster. Hadrian X can lay brick around 15-20 times faster than a human, which reduces project time and overall costs.

To reduce the cost of the construction further, by using CAD modeling, waste is reduced because the project can be more precise, and the amount of material is predetermined.

Mike Pavic also believes that his company’s robot makes a build safer. This is due to the fact that human labor is effectively eliminated. Construction workers are no longer at risk of falling from height or being overworked.

Nevertheless, there has been some resistance to this movement. Bricklaying has been around since the first brick structures were created in Jericho around 7000 BC and many people are employed in the industry.

Pavic noted that such a massive step away from tradition, after establishing the techniques over 5000 years is likely to be met with resistance, but he is confident that these challenges would be significantly offset by the rewards.

Fastbrick Robotics has the support of large technology and construction companies. Pavic boasts that "everybody wants this to work … it's an amazing thing to work in an organization where you have global support to be successful."

With Hadrian X set to change how residential housing is constructed, there are sure to be more companies to follow. It is looking more and more certain that robotics will govern the future of the construction industry.

This story is reprinted from material from phys.org, with editorial changes made by Azo Network. The original article can be found here.

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