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A robo-mason

Hadrian X, a movable robot developed by Fastbrick Robotics building a house. Image credit: Fastbrick Robotics.

On November 13th, 2018 Fastbrick Robotics, based in Perth Australia, announced the construction of the first 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in less than 3 days, of course using a robot.

The system, Hadrian X, consists of  a robotic arm mounted on a truck. This makes the whole system movable so that it can be deployed where needed. The truck is loaded with the bricks that will be needed and the whole construction is first planned by creating a digital model. This model is used on site by the robotic arm to deploy the bricks.

The company has signed an agreement with Caterpillar and is planning to start operation in Saudi Arabia. The system has several advantages over humans laying bricks beyond being faster. It is more accurate and the accuracy (sub mm precision) lets designers to preinstall infrastructures (pipes and ducts) in the bricks. The sealing is done using  an adhesive that is more effective than mortar (and does not overflow into pipes, clogging them).

Hadrian X can lead to a disruption in the AEC area (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) since is changes the value chain letting architects use computer for engineering resulting in a digital model (something that is already done today) that is directly used by a robot for construction. That digital model is transformed into a digital twin of the construction. I recently spoke with people of ARUP a major player int he AEC area and discovered their interest in assessing the potential of digital twins in their area.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.