WA robot bricklaying pioneer FBR has taken its automated home construction project to the next level with its first outdoor build.
The company, formerly Fastbrick Robotics, announced the milestone yesterday just months after the Hadrian X robot achieved what it said was a world first with construction of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home during internal testing.
Chief executive Mike Pivac said the achievement at the company’s High Wycombe facility showed the technology could work in real world outdoor conditions, including in extreme heat, wind and at night in low light conditions.
“It is pleasing and is exactly what we wanted so far from our ongoing testing program,” he said.
“Additionally, to see the machine operating at night and understanding how valuable this capability will be in global markets was particularly exciting.
“We will now take some time to make improvements to the Hadrian X based on the results of our testing program to date, and we are looking forward to putting the machine through some further rigorous testing in the winter months.”
Hadrian X — a truck loaded with bricks that are cut to size inside the machine with an internal saw module — will be able to be driven to a construction site, where a laser-guided robotic attachment will feed blocks through an arm and place them into position.
It will allow builders to prefabricate internal elements because they can rely on the laser sub-millimetre accuracy.
Hadrian X’s current “laying motion” during testing is one brick per 45-55 seconds, but the company hopes to achieve a lay rate up to four times as fast.
FBR last week flagged a new deal with Brickworks, Australia’s biggest maker of bricks, just two months after scrapping a proposed tie-up with Caterpillar.
The agreement, if finalised, would see Brickworks given exclusive rights to make the blocks used by the machine.
The two companies would also form a joint venture to deploy the Hadrian X to the Australian building and construction market under FBR’s new commercialisation strategy.
FBR shares were down 0.8¢, or 5.9 per cent, to 12.7¢ at 12.30pm.