Despite years of advances in automation of the production of bricks, turning them into a structure is still a tedious, manual process. That's why an Australian engineer's latest project could revolutionise the construction industry.
Mark Pivac has built a fully-automated bricklaying robot, which he claims is a world first. "We're at a technological nexus where a few different technologies have got to the level where it's now possible to do it, and that's what we've done," he told PerthNow.
The robot, whose name is Hadrian, can lay 1000 bricks an hour, 24 hours a day. From the schematics of the structure, it calculates the location of every brick and creates a custom program used to cut and lay each one in sequence.
'We have absolutely nothing against bricklayers'
Then it uses a 28-metre articulated arm, complete with a tube that mortar is delivered through, to lay each brick - scanning afterwards to make sure each is correctly installed. It even leaves gaps for electrical wiring and other infrastructure.
"We have absolutely nothing against bricklayers," said Pivac, whose company has now been acquired by an investment firm. "The problem is the average age of bricklayers is going up and it's difficult to attract new young people to the trade.