An Australian company has developed what it says is the “world’s first mobile robotic blocklaying system,” and it’s bringing it to market in the United States.
FBR’s Hadrian X truck-based robotic bricklayer has already built masonry brick homes and other buildings in Australia and plans to start doing the same in the U.S. in 2024. The robot can lay more than 240 concrete masonry blocks per hour, the company reports, adding that the machine increases safety, requires fewer workers and reduces environmental impact. It can also build homes cheaper than conventional methods, FBR says.
(To watch the Hadrian X laying bricks, check out the videos at the end of this story.)
The robot follows a 3D computer-assisted design model for laying blocks. The robot is operated remotely by tablet and has a 105-foot-long telescoping boom.
Each block is moved through a shuttle delivery system down the boom and is covered in a “special construction adhesive” that FBR says is twice as strong as traditional mortar. The blocks are then placed according to the CAD design. It can lay 4,343 blocks – of around 23.6 x 15.7 x 11.8 inches in size – over 3,821 square feet in a day, the company says. FBR reports it has completed its first outdoors structure using large U.S.-compliant masonry blocks.
FBR has built five houses in Australia in collaboration with Australian homebuilder Inspired Homes that have been placed up for sale. A 16-townhouse development is also underway.
The company recently announced it has received high demand for the Hadrian X in the U.S. and will speed up its plans to fit the robot to U.S.-certified truck chassis when the first three orders are delivered.
FBR’s "Wall as a Service" operating entity in Florida will serve as the Hadrian X distributor. FBR says it plans to build its first walls in the U.S. early next year with the Hadrian X.
The robot deploys what FBR calls a “Fastbrick Wall System,” which combines blocks with special adhesive and a cladding material the company says is like acrylic render.
The company has also developed its own software for Hadrian X called Dynamic Stabilization Technology, or DST. It enables the robot to lay brick with precision and corrects for any wireless interference or vibration in the boom, the company says.
The company’s founder, Mark Pivac, got the idea for the mobile robot in 1994 and filed for patents for its first iteration, Hadrian 105, in 2005. Hadrian 105 built its first structure using 3D CAD in 2016.
The company assembled its first Hadrian X in 2018 and has since continued to develop new generations of the robot. It says its latest generation will be able to lay more than 500 blocks an hour, including commercially available blocks and blocks not currently available on the market.
It has also been working to commercialize Hadrian X and the company’s technology globally by entering into agreements with other companies, including Liebherr.
To see the Hadrian X in action, check out FBR’s video below:
Watch the Hadrian X build a 3BR, 2BA home in Australia in the FBR video below: