The Denizen From Down Under
Last week we brought you the story of an absolute beast of a machine – the Tiger Stone paving brick layer which creates roads at an astonishing speed of 300 square metres a day! Well this week we have a playmate for the Tiger Stone in the shape of Hadrian, another robot who is named after Hadrian’s Wall and is set to take the construction world by storm. Look out bricklayers across the land, we march towards a more automated future in which you may need to think about changing your skillset.
In recent years there’s been a quest to bring us smarter, more versatile (and cheaper) robots and they’re invading our workplaces in increasing numbers. They perform all sorts of tasks that are repetitive, arduous and downright dangerous and are changing the face of our employment as they take over more and more activities that would once have required one or more people to perform.
Engineers in the Australian city of Perth have recently released Hadrian, a competent house building machine that’s reputed to get the job done twenty times faster than the average human bricklayer. He can create the brick framework for a property in just two days and he doesn’t need to stop for a tea break. Moreover, Hadrian has a top brick laying speed of 1,000 bricks per hour which means one machine could build 150 homes each year. An army of Hadrians could colonise whole countries!
Hadrian may look like your average 28 metre articulated, telescopic boom, but Hadrian is nothing if not well educated. The accomplished automaton uses a stream of data fed from a 3D CAD representation of the building for brick placement while mortar or adhesive is pressure pumped to the head of the boom.
Bricks are the most popular home construction materials with home buyers in many parts of the world, largely due to their thermal and acoustic qualities. Using bricks for construction, however, is becoming a very costly business due to the high salaries that have resulted from the skills shortage in the brick laying sector in many countries. It’s hoped that Hadrian will be one solution that helps to address this crisis
The first commercial version of Hadrian will hit the market place next year, according to manufacturer, Fastbrick Robotics. The robot can reduce the overall time required to construct a home by about six weeks. Hadrian is reputed to be so accurate that most other components for a home such as roof trusses, kitchens and bathrooms can be manufactured in parallel and fitted as soon as Hadrian has completed how contribution.
Mike Pivac, CEO of Hadrian’s “parent” company reckons that Hadrian will be a popular solution to Australia’s shortage of skilled brick layers. We also face a shortage of skilled labour in the construction industry in the UK so we may be welcoming this denizen from Down Under in the not too distant future.