A couple of years ago, we shared a video of Fastbrick Robotic’s Hadrian 105, a brick-laying robot built for proof of concept. In a true testament of how long the development of computer-model based commercial robotics takes to develop, the company’s commercial robot model, the Hadrian X, has finally reached a goal that has been sought after since 2015: Building a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home in 3 days.
The Australian-based Fastbrick Robotics, or FBR, met its 3 year old goal at their indoor test facility, they announced in mid-November. Prior to attempting the 3-bedroom, 2,000SF home, the Hadrian X was put through tests on 3 different types of structures as part of its factory testing:
A two-course structure with various brick sizes, cuts, and configurations
An 11-course structure to demonstrate the ability to build from slab to cap height
A two-room structure, which was built from a 3D CAD model and met the accuracy requirements
After successfully completing the full home structure, which only block laying, a civil and structural engineering group determined that the structure met all relevant building standards, according to the company’s press release. You may notice in the video below that the blocks are not placed in a typical bed of mortar, as the company has opted to use specifically formulated construction adhesive.
The next step in the company’s plan is to begin selling the robot.
“We now have the world’s only fully automated, end-to-end bricklaying solution, with a massive market waiting for it. We will now take everything we’ve learned to date in the Hadrian X program and make some refinements ahead of bringing both Hadrian X robots back to our High Wycombe facility for demonstration to key commercial stakeholders. We now begin the next exciting phase for the Company, as we execute our global commercialization strategy to capitalize on the significant demand for our technology,” said FBR CEO Mike Pivac, in a press release.
Check out the robot in action below:
Full story: First Full Home Structure Built with Hadrian X | ASX
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.