July 2017

The robot
house builder

Is the house builder profession seriously under threat? We aren’t there yet, even if technological advances favour the automation of certain tasks. Two projects have been covered in the press in recent months, explained briefly below.

French robot-house builder
Yay! The first innovation has been made by the French, a team of researchers from the Laboratory of Digital Sciences in Nantes and the Institute of Research in Mechanical Engineering. Project Yhnova, a polyarticulated industrial robot on a mobile stand, is designed to work on different projects following the appropriate programming. The robot is guided through a laser sensor from a digital model of the location. At first, the robot releases two layers of insulating foam spray that provide a frame. Then, a third layer of concrete is added in the inside by the robot. The result is convincing: the polyurethane foam guarantees the insulation of the house once the walls have been erected. This robot, according to one of the researchers, will allow savings on construction costs and building time of up to 20%.

The new Australian house builder
Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian company, introduced new technology called Hadrian X in the spring of 2017. The machine with its long mechanical arm can lay 1,000 bricks in an hour! Its maker claims that the sophisticated robot will be capable of building a house in a mere 48 hours. Most bricklayers in Australia will not have to worry too much, though, since not many building professionals will be able to afford the 2M Australian dollar price tag. Fastbrick says that the robot will mostly handle those tasks that are “labour-intensive and unsafe” on a worksite.

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