Bricklaying Robot Being Used on 3-Story Nevada Building

One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.

If the company’s portfolio page is up-to-date and accurate, the Nevada project will be SAM’s biggest undertaking, by far, with around 60,000 bricks needing to be placed. Most of the robot’s past projects have been 15,000 bricks or less. In total, the project will have 100,000 bricks installed, but the robot can only handle around 60% of them.

Calling the robot Semi-Automated is pretty accurate, because it is currently only able to work on large and uninterrupted walls. According to Building Design + Construction, human masons are still required to perform a variety of tasks, including laying bricks in the first 5 feet of an area, corners, and around windows. Humans are also required to set up the scaffolding system that holds the robot, load the design into the on-board computer, align the row, tool the joints, and load bricks and mortar into the machine.

Despite all of that manual work, the general contractor on the job, Q&D Construction, states that SAM helped them speed up the installation of the brick veneer wall by 50% and that it can perform the work of 5 masons. The building, which will be a new University Arts building at the University, is scheduled to be completed this fall.

Check out the video below to see how SAM works: