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Brick-laying Robot Builds Full-Sized House in Just Two Days!

OUTSOURCE CADHadrian can work 24 hours a day, laying 1000 bricks an hour. Can you say that about a traditional bricklayer? Probably not, because Hadrian is a robot. This unique 7-million dollar robot was part of a project developed by an Australian inventor over the last 10 years.

The robot was named after the Roman emperor who was known for constructing the Temple of Venus and Roma, and who rebuilt the Pantheon in the dome form that still stands today. While the emperor had workers do all the work, the robot Hadrian doesn’t need anyone’s help. Hadrian has the ability to work around the clock and could potentially build a house in just two days, which is 20 times faster than a human bricklayer.

The robot’s inventor, Mark Pivac, told a local newspaper in an interview, “People have been laying bricks for about 6,000 years and ever since the industrial revolution, they have tried to automate the bricklaying process.”

Now he’s done it. What would the real Hadrian think? He may have taken on more projects as reigning emperor of Rome if he’d had the help of a robot.

Hadrian the robot works by using designs rendered in CAD software that show the layout of the bricks. It then cuts each individual brick and moves them along a 92 foot arm connected to its body. At the end of the arm is a hand that can pick up and place the bricks. Hadrian calculates where each brick should go using the designs from the 3D renderings of the structure.

Not only does Hadrian cut and place the bricks, it adds the adhesive, too. Talk about a multitasker. It seals each brick with mortar before securing it right where it should be according to the design. If it has to re-cut the bricks to fit, it can make adjustments. The robot can also leave spaces for HVAC, electrical and plumbing. With this kind of manpower in one robot, Hadrian could build 150 houses a year.

Pivac plans to market the technology in Western Australia before expanding. He notes, jokingly, that he has “nothing against bricklayers.” He just wants to improve the process and speed in which houses can be built.

“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 said.

Pivac thinks that this technology will attract younger people to the field.

“The machine will fill the void that exists due to shrinking numbers of available bricklayers, whose average age is now nearly 50 in Australia,” he said in another interview. “(Hadrian) should attract young people back to bricklaying, as robotics is seen as an attractive technology.”

Humans won’t be left out of the equation. There are many aspects of home building that require human workers to build and assemble, including adding drywall, kitchens and bathrooms. That is, unless Pivac starts developing new robots to take on these tasks.

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