Scott in California
This is a vastly misleading article. You don't "build a house" simply by laying bricks. Where is the roof? Where is the floor? The walls are the least expensive part of the whole structure, so the fast laying of bricks is the least helpful in building a house. Right now, a crew of two or three people can erect a galvanized metal stud wall in a day or so, and all the equipment and material can be transported in a pickup truck! And it's all ready for insulation, electrical, and plumbing. A brick wall is impossibly contrary to building a house fast.
I have nothing against automation, but can we stop pretending that automating blue-collar work creates more jobs than it eliminates?
Guy Macher
Great, a faster way of doing something stupid. Bricks are an expensive, albeit long lasting, paint. Let's program robots to build steel frame buildings or build slip-form concrete ones. I will say the precision of the boom is impressive. Let's exploit a higher use.
For those hot Australian summers that sap a brick-layers energy this has to be a benefit.With an aging population averaging fifty in the brick layer trade this form of robot has to appeal to the current younger generation looking to do a trade the modern way.A job lost to a robot is replaced by a job for a human to repair and maintenance robots, so it should be a win for humans...
@Maryland - as with many other areas of life, technological innovations are going to replace wholesale scads of human workers, and unlike prior eras there will be no jobs for them to migrate to (unlike the farmhands who moved to the cities to work in factories 100 years ago as technology replaced them). But there is no going back, other than a global Luddite-like revolt against everything tech (and what would all those Twitter-users say about that?) - so as a society we are going to have to come up with a new paradigm as to what gives one self-worth.
Some good comments. Agree we should stop pretending automation creates net jobs. That doesn't mean automation is bad. Agree that brick veneer is expensive paint but I took the article to imply that the houses were actually brick construction rather than brick veneer. I assume the machines have some way of creating passages for plumbing and electrical conduit. If they don't, that's a serious design failure. Overall, I'd give this a seven on the cool factor scale.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
I am 68 and have never seen a brick house being built!
Why doesn't this show the actual mortaring the bricks together like a human has to do. Stacking bricks is one thing and mortaring them layer by layer is a whole other banana. Not saying they can't do it but this article sure doesn't show it happening. 20 years from now there won't be a job a robot is being built to do. Then robots will eventually be building other robots for their own purposes. Certainly even a fool can see that robots will make humans obsolete. Probably for the best considering that we have made such a mess of this planet. Chances are that robots will not destroy each other because of religious reasons.
You got to love how technology makes a thousand people obsolete and then burdens the Earth with a couple thousand more humans.
Kevin Ritchey
Would go over big in L.A. when the walls come tumblin' down!