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The brick-road-laying Tiger Stone

The brick-road-laying Tiger St...
The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
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The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
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The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
A worker transferring bricks from the hopper to the pusher
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A worker transferring bricks from the hopper to the pusher
The Tiger Stone laying a brick road, from behind
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The Tiger Stone laying a brick road, from behind
The Tiger Stone's ramp, which the bricks slide down
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The Tiger Stone's ramp, which the bricks slide down
The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
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The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
The Tiger Stone laying a brick road
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The Tiger Stone laying a brick road

Laying down paving bricks is back-breaking, time-consuming work... or at least, it is if you do it the usual way. Henk van Kuijk, director of Dutch industrial company Vanku, evidently decided that squatting/kneeling and shoving the bricks into place on the ground was just a little too slow, so he invented the Tiger Stone paving machine. The road-wide device is fed loose bricks, and lays them out onto the road as it slowly moves along. A quick going-over with a tamper, and you’ve got an instant brick road.

One to three human operators stand on the platform of the Tiger Stone, and move loose bricks by hand from its hopper to its sloping “pusher” slot – the bricks do have to be fed into the pusher in the desired finished pattern. From there, gravity causes them to slide together, in one road-wide sheet, down onto the sand.

A worker transferring bricks from the hopper to the pusher
A worker transferring bricks from the hopper to the pusher

The tread-tracked machine is electrically-powered, and has few moving parts, so noise and maintenance are kept to a minimum. It stays on course thanks to built-in sensors, which follow the curbs. According to Vanku, a machine with two operators can pave at least 300 square meters (3,229 sq.ft.) of road per day, whereas a single conventional paver on their hands and knees manages between 75 and 100.

The Tiger Stone is available in four, five and six-meter (13, 16 and 20-foot) widths, and costs from €60,000 to €80,000 (US$81,485 to $108,655). There’s no doubt that a lot of home-owners would like to see a much smaller version, that they could rent for creating garden paths and patios.

Via Gizmodo.

tiger-stone

35 comments
Oliver McFishcloud
That is what ingenuity and Gizmag is all about. Seems like it wouldn\'t go over well in Europe.
PrometheusGoneWild.com
This is genius! Concrete is much better than asphalt, but hard to lay and a nightmare to repair. Asphalt can be scrapped up and relayed quickly, that is why we in the US use it for almost all our roads. But this could change that. With this machine laying a concrete paver road could be easier than laying an asphalt road. Repair would no longer be an issue since small crews could replace sections of paver as needed. These machines could also be a first step. They could automate the process so bricks of differing colors could be loaded into bins and the machine itself could sort them. Very quickly...... I hope this is seen for what it is, a potential revolution in road making. -Dennis
Terry Penrose
A good idea, but perhaps not good enough. The issue as I see it is the manual feeding of the bricks. A magazine type continuous feed needs to be developed for this machine. This may require working with a brick supplier to come up with a workable magazine type stack. A continious feed could see a 10x or better increase in speed with far less breakage of bricks that would occur using this \"dump in the hopper\" approach. Good Inception though.
Pieter
To Andrew: You see roads like this everywhere in The Netherlands. The inventor is obviously Dutch (as am I) and it is a brilliant idea to spare the backs of the workers, so why would it not go over well? These kinds of roads are easy to maintain. You do not get the usual pot holes and broken bricks are simply replaced. They are also good for the dispersal of rain which both runs off and is absorbed through the sand beneath. The textured surface is good for traction. Do not under-estimate the practical Dutch.
mokkybear54
will it lay Yellow Bricks?
gadgetmind
This machine is screaming out for someone to invent fan-fold micro-perf bricks, ready to feed out of the box and lay on the road.
Gregorymerchant
Seems brilliant..but; A single conventional paver can do at least half this work as compared in the article to two operators - so if i am hiring two workers why would I also invest in the capital equipment? I also notice that the edge bricks still need to be pre-cut. Is there a third worker not pictured? I wonder if this is the first step toward the holy grail of brick-laying; a mobile brick sheet fabricator and laying machine that cuts the sheets into bricks as they exit the machine or in situ on the road. I give this an A for idea but a D for value.
pATREUS
I think it is a bit mean to poo-poo an idea of such simplicity and ascetic value - it has great potential and I love it!
nufsed
\"\"To Andrew: You see roads like this everywhere in The Netherlands. The inventor is obviously Dutch (as am I) and it is a brilliant idea to spare the backs of the workers, so why would it not go over well? These kinds of roads are easy to maintain. You do not get the usual pot holes and broken bricks are simply replaced. They are also good for the dispersal of rain which both runs off and is absorbed through the sand beneath. The textured surface is good for traction. Do not under-estimate the practical Dutch. comment Pieter - November 15, 2010 @ 10:11 pm PST Beste Pieter, Having lived in The Netherlands for 10 years and still spending about 10 days per month there for my employer for the last 5 and 1/2. I am going to have to agree with you about the maintenance issues, relaying of cables, servicing sewer lines etc. These pavers make it very easy. However, I can not agree with you about traction. I\'ve been on icy conditions on the pavers and on icy conditions on asphalt. Give me rough surface asphalt over the pavers in cold weather and I\'m a happy man. I\'ve slid around on those pavers and with the smallest amount of frost they become slippery. I heb er meer dan 10 jaar in Nederland gewoond. En voor het laatste vijf en een half jaar ga ik heen en weer slingeren voor ongeveer 10 dagen per maand in Nederland. Ik ben er niet met je eens over die \"Klinkers\" die zijn lang niet zo goed in het sneeuw en ice. Verder zijn ze well heel goed. Excuses voor mijn Neder-Engels. Nufsed
Bruce H. Anderson
I wonder why there isn\'t a hopper to feed sand into a screed as a first step before the chute. Maybe it needs to be compacted first. I would load the bricks as palletized loads rather than knocking them over, then scooping, then dumping. BUT, very cool, very simple, I like it!