EDIT: the robot shown in the video is the Hadrian 105, the precursor to the Hadrian X.
There has been lots of robot talk in the past few years in construction, whether it’s trying to give humans the strength of a robot, 3D printing robots, or automated robots that can perform repetitive tasks on the job site. Masonry has been a sought after market for the robotics industry, it seems that there’s a bit of an arms race to the top of the robotic brick laying mountain. The latest competitor in this field is the Hadrian X, developed by Fastbrick Robotics in Perth, Australia.
The Hadrian X, named after the 14th Emperor of the Roman Empire who built the massive Hadrian’s Wall in Great Britain, can lay 1,000 bricks per hour, which is about double what a mason can lay in an entire day. That’s 16 times the amount of bricks per day. Interestingly, the Hadrian X doesn’t use mortar on the bricks, it opts to use a specifically formulated construction glue.
To operate, a fully automated robotic arm is attached to a 92 foot long boom, which is attached to a truck. The bricks are loaded onto the boom and systematically pushed down towards the arm, which is equipped with a conveyor belt. One by one each brick is placed with the help of a 3D CAD program. The machine can handle many different sizes of brick and block and is also able to cut the material, either to allow proper fit with the structure or to make room for electrical or plumbing lines.
According to the Daily Mail, the Hadrian X has been in development for around 10 years and has cost roughly $7 million to complete. The final product will be given its first tests in Australia before possibly expanding to different areas.
Below is a video of the Hadrian X making quick work of a block building, shared on Youtube by Gary Paull, who is also an Operations Manager at Fastbrick Robotics.
Full story: Bad news for Bob the Builder: Watch Hadrian X the robo-builder create an entire house in just two days | The Daily Mail UK
As smartphones and tablets are slowly becoming one of the most prominent and powerful tools on construction site, construction technology companies are still largely focusing on construction management firms and general contractors. What’s lost on many is the fact that there are dozens of subcontractors on every jobsite that also need to manage their projects.
Late last year, CAT Phones released their first ever smartphone on a US carrier network, the S48c. The phone is currently available on both the Sprint and Verizon Networks and I was recently able to test out the phone to get some better insight into how it operates. Overall, it offers the toughness to hold up to a jobsite at a reasonable price, but continue reading to hear about all of the details.
Tracking progress on any construction progress is an extremely vital step. Artificial intelligence is gaining popularity in the industry, as it can make sense of thousands of images or videos and place them into context. Before the AI can work its magic, though, all of those pictures and videos must be collected. That’s where robotics masters Boston Dynamics thinks they can step in with a robot they’ve been developing for years.
Fatigue on the jobsite is real, so much so that many technology companies have developed products to reduce fatigue and also sense when a worker is experiencing fatigue. There are other wearable devices, like exoskeletons, that can enhance a workers strength and stamina, but when you need to add more than a little punch, Construction Robotic’s MULE 135 may do the trick.
For over 3 years now, Trimble has been teaming up with Microsoft to make the mixed reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, a viable and useful tool for the construction industry. With Microsoft’s recent announcement of their next-gen headset, the HoloLens 2, Trimble also made an announcement about the impending release of a new wearable hard hat compatible device featuring the HoloLens 2.
Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment. An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.
[guest post] Construction project owners are facing a big problem: paper based progress reports and invoices are making it nearly impossible to quickly find and address errors. The tool kit of the past included a magnifying glass, a pencil (and eraser) and a calculator. Armed with endless human resources, project owners would diligently review paper based documentation for discrepancies. This MO is no longer feasible in the modern construction environment.
JBKnowledge, a construction technology and consultancy company, has been producing their annual Construction Technology Report since 2012. Now in its 7th year, it is far and away the most comprehensive collection of survey results in the construction technology sector.
I’m a strong proponent of reducing the amount of pen and paper used on construction jobsites. Handwriting notes is great for personal use, but as soon as you need to get those notes or reports to someone else, you either spend time duplicating your work on a computer or never get around to communicating, because your notes were misplaced, destroyed, or illegible. Fieldwire, a field software for collaborating on plans, punch lists, and scheduling, among others, has recently announced the release of a custom form building tool to reduce the need for paper on your jobsite.
As much as we like to push for the digitization of the construction jobsite on Construction Junkie, there’s no doubt that there are many within the construction workforce that are still apprehensive to go fully electronic. There’s something to be said for feeling and manipulating something with your hands, as opposed to pointing and clicking. SlatPlanner is a new way that construction companies can electronically build a project schedule, while maintaining a hands-on approach.