Robotics

Hadrian X bricklaying robot puts up its first walls

Hadrian X bricklaying robot pu...
The Hadrian X bricklaying robot in action
The Hadrian X bricklaying robot in action
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We’ve been following the progress of the Hadrian X bricklaying robot since it first started flexing its giant telescopic arm back in 2015
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We’ve been following the progress of the Hadrian X bricklaying robot since it first started flexing its giant telescopic arm back in 2015
Bird's eye view of the Hadrian X bricklaying robot in action
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Bird's eye view of the Hadrian X bricklaying robot in action
The first walls of the first display home assembled by the Hadrian X bricklaying robot
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The first walls of the first display home assembled by the Hadrian X bricklaying robot
The Hadrian X bricklaying robot in action
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The Hadrian X bricklaying robot in action
The Hadrian X robot is the handiwork of Australia firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR), and lays its bricks by way of a telescopic boom that mounts to an excavator or truck
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The Hadrian X robot is the handiwork of Australia firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR), and lays its bricks by way of a telescopic boom that mounts to an excavator or truck
View gallery - 5 images

We’ve been following the progress of the Hadrian X bricklaying robot since it first started flexing its giant telescopic arm back in 2015, and have seen the team behind it make a few notable improvements since. We are now seeing what this type of machine can bring to the real world, with the robot completing the walls of its first display home as part of residential development in Western Australia.

The Hadrian X robot is the handiwork of Australia firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR), and lays its bricks by way of a telescopic boom that mounts to an excavator or truck. By feeding the system a 3D CAD model of a house, the robot can then go to work placing bricks, along with the mortar and adhesive needed to hold it all together.

Not too long ago, the Hadrian X was capable of laying around 85 blocks an hour, but the team has made significant improvements to its control software that first saw that rate jump to 150 blocks an hour, and then last month to more than 200. This was considered a demonstration of the skills needed to compete with traditional bricklaying services, and now the team is seeing how its machine fares as part of a real-world construction team.

The Hadrian X robot is the handiwork of Australia firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR), and lays its bricks by way of a telescopic boom that mounts to an excavator or truck
The Hadrian X robot is the handiwork of Australia firm Fastbrick Robotics (FBR), and lays its bricks by way of a telescopic boom that mounts to an excavator or truck

The company deployed the Hadrian X to the site of a display home, which will feature as part of a residential housing development in the town of Dayton. Here it completed the structural walls of the display home in three and a half standard bricklaying shifts, according to the team, and has now retreated to base to allow human builders to take the reins.

Once complete, the home will serve as a display for the public and potential partners to visit and learn more about the Hadrian X’s bricklaying capabilities and automated construction. The company plans to continue improving the technology to boost its performance even further.

“From here, we will review our performance and apply our learnings from this build as part of our continuous improvement program,” says FBR’s Chief Technical Officer, Mark Pivac. “Finishing ahead of schedule for our first build on a residential site is a pleasing result for the company. Following our review, we will calibrate the Hadrian X to handle larger blocks like FBR’s F-Block, which will allow the Hadrian X to build future structures approximately 25 percent faster.”

You can hear from the team and see the Hadrian X in action in the video below.

A Digital Construction Journey | FBR

Source: FBR

View gallery - 5 images
10 comments
eric44
There is no motar between the vertical joints and no connecting rebar thru the slab
Jinpa
It looks like what the machine is laying is a special form of concrete block, not ordinary bricks or even ordinary 8x8x16 concrete blocks, so the description is somewhat misleading. The story also does not say where the special blocks are ordinarily used, if anywhere, or if the machine can lay ordinary bricks or blocks at all. It also does not offer a labor cost comparison. Brick-layer unions don't have to quake yet.
WMA
Did I miss something, where is the mortar?
Username
So, are the vertical gaps filled by hand?
Kpar
The article mentions that the mortar and/or adhesive can be placed by this machine- but it was not shown. Also what was not shown was the feed mechanism- I would very much loved to have seen that.

I could also see the development of custom interlocking bricks should this work out.
WONKY CLERKY
From the far views provided by your snaps + vid' and more in hope than expectation I point out the following:

1: As/others: The obvious lack of filling of the perp'/cross joints.
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2: Just what are they setting on?
ie. What is the bedding mortar?
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3:
.1: If indeed the skin of 4" / 100mm blockwork we see is the inner skin of a cavity external/perimeter wall,
where are the ties for the outer skin?
.2: Conversely, if it is the outer skin, where ties for the inner?
.3: If what we see is the total outer wall structure per se, good luck.
Minimum for structural stability for single skin for that (presumed) single storey rise - 6" / 150mm nom' thick.
(And that said disregarding insulation values)
If I were spec'ing it - 9" / 215mm nom' thickness would be the std for the outer walls if they were to be of 'solid' construction.
(ie. Coring to blocks disregarded here).
.4: I note Hadrian doesn't seem to care about using cored* blocks to inner division walls!
.5: As the structure does appear to be single storey, therefore no horizontal DPC's needed over reveal heads as they eaves covered.
Any higher and you'll have to teach Hadrian how to set those DPC's!
(Top Tips - Stick to Dorman Long pattern lintles Hadrian!)
.6: If external perimeter walls are std cavity pattern, what are to be the closing dtls at jambs?
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4: Block bond inconsistent - to the point of raking stretcher bond in many places.
NB. As that to be seen from snaps is possibly the load-bearing skin, that is well into the 'not-recommended' list in principle albeit from views of the surrounding property units, if this of build similar, the walls won't be very heavily loaded.
+
5: No padstones under lintle bearings.
ie. Cored (and therefore lower bearing capacity) blocks used throughout (See * above also).
NB. See the NB. to 4 above.
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6: Horizontal DPC provision unclear - Appears some form of bitumous coat to edge of slab - Beyond that view - Nothing to be seen.
Q: What has been done?
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7: Another comments on 'lack of reinforcement connecting rebar to slab'.
Don't know how he's discerned that, but if he's seen more than me, - good luck.
That said:
If I were spec'ing it I wouldn't have included slab rebar connection, especially to 4" / 100mm nom' blocks


I could go on, but that's enough for nowt.
Luv & X's,

Wonky Clerky.

PS.
My qual's for leading-off - ref My humble self and millions like me**:
I was in the Building Trade for >40year so I, like the rest of me peer group (the great ignored),
will continue to be treated as we know the Irish Stately Home about the Irish Stately Home.
**The Great Tired & Retired.
Eddy
Still a bricky required for tie wires and to cut the blocks for the bond so not much labour cost saved.
Aross
Obviously this still has a lot of R&D work to be done.
Worzel
The BIG question is how many blocks would need to be laid by this machine, compared to using human brick/block layers, to pay for the machine itself, and then to start making a profit?
bwana4swahili
A long ways to go before this robot replaces humans. Mortar to hold the bricks in place would help!!