Fastbrick Robotics secures agreements with Caterpillar and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as construction robot advances

Fastbrick Robotics FBR ASX Caterpillar Kingdom of Saudi Arabia construction Hadrian X

Development of technology company Fastbrick Robotics’ (ASX: FBR) flagship Hadrian X construction robot gained momentum during the September 2017 quarter, with the company securing two potentially game changing contracts with Caterpillar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Known as Hadrian X, the 3D construction robot has been developed to construct the brick walls of an average dwelling in two days.

During the September quarter, the robot’s bespoke components were manufactured and are ready for assembly. Additionally, exhaustive 3D virtual testing and digital simulation were undertaken to test the assembly strength, systems, control programs and interrelated components, which de-risks the next physical world testing phase.

“This quarter, we saw significant momentum and confidence in the Hadrian X prototype program,” Fastbrick chief technology officer Mark Pivac said.

“As we move away from the 3D virtual testing and simulation test environment to the engineering floor, we will start to see progress as the procurement process gathers pace,” Mr Pivac added.

Fastbrick has also committed to developing a 2nd Hadrian X prototype using the latest technology and best practice methods from the aeronautical and defence sectors.

The second prototype will be tested in parallel with the original.

“[This] will allow the engineering team to significantly de-risk the assembly and test phases by applying the learning from the assembly and debugging process between each Hadrian X as they progress to completion and, ultimately, demonstration stage, and the construction of the brick component of a house within three days,” Mr Pivac said.

The Hadrian X has received some substantial backing with Fastbrick inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in July with global equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. Under the memorandum, Caterpillar and Fastbrick are looking at collaboratively developing Hadrian X, including manufacturing, sales and servicing of the robot.

Caterpillar also put its money behind Fastbrick with a US$2 million investment and the option to purchase a further US$8 million.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has shown serious interest in the Hadrian X, securing a MoU with Fastbrick in August, which could see the country being the first in the world to adopt the technology.

Under the MoU, the Saudi Arabian Government and Fastbrick investigating the government using the Hadrian X to build an initial 50,000 homes throughout the kingdom, which translates into the government requiring 100 robots.

Saudi Arabia is currently targeting the development of 1.5 million new homes to be completed by 2022.

The Hadrian X is globally patented and Fastbrick’s intellectual property portfolio contains 18 patent cases, two design cases, plus a several granted trademarks and trademark applications.

Fastbrick also received the Western Australia Innovator of the Year award for 2016.

By late afternoon trade, Fastbrick shares had risen almost 5% to A$0.22.

Lorna has more than 10 years’ experience as a finance journalist and editor. She has written for an array of industry publications reporting on various sectors, including: resources, energy, construction, biotech, pharma, science and technology, agriculture, and chemicals. Specialising in resources, Lorna has covered a myriad of small and large cap ASX and dual-listed stocks.