Fastbrick Robotics (ASX: FBR) will pilot test its Hadrian X construction robot and implement its technology in Mexico after the robotics company signed a strategic collaboration agreement with GP Vivienda, one of the country’s largest construction companies.
The Perth-based company has developed the world’s most advanced construction robot capable of building an entire single-storey house in under 2 days – autonomously and with almost no human input or intervention.
Fastbrick completed assembly of the Hadrian X last month and has now commenced mechanical testing and commissioning of the Hadrian X with factory acceptance testing set to commence in Q3 this year.
The deal with GP Vivienda, a subsidiary of Grupo GP, represents one of its very first practical applications of the Hadrian X and is the first instance of the construction robot being deployed outside of Australia.
To date, GP Vivienda has built over 70,000 homes in communities across Mexico as well as being responsible for building schools, community centres, parks with playgrounds and commercial areas.
Under the terms of the agreement, GP Vivienda plans to utilise Fastbrick’s technology and Hadrian X innovation for a period of two years with various commercial, corporate and investment opportunities, knowledge sharing, mutual business development opportunities, and joint technology opportunities already being contemplated by both companies.
Both parties see a variety of potential synergies given their complementary activities.
“The Hadrian X presents a solution to Mexico’s acute shortage of well-constructed affordable homes, with access to the necessary services like schools, parks and commercial areas,” said Mike Pivac, CEO of Fastbrick.
He added that “GP Vivienda is an ideal partner for FBR in Mexico, as they have shown they are adaptable and willing to embrace disruptive technology and have sufficient scale to offer an excellent proving ground for the Hadrian X and future DST applications in North America,” said Mr Pivac.
According to industry analysts and research conducted by Fastbrick’s business advisor EY-Parthenon, the Mexican market represents an ideal opportunity for the Hadrian X to make its mark.
Most construction done in Mexico is of a low-rise nature and almost entirely made up of brick and block construction. This type of relatively straightforward construction combined with a dire 8.3 million shortage of affordable houses means that around 700-750 Hadrian X robots could theoretically “replace all bricklaying labour in Mexico in 2018”, according to Fastbrick.
Furthermore, given the frequency of extreme weather events and earthquakes in Mexico, the Hadrian X can assist in providing reliable, timely and cost-effective post-disaster construction.
“We are excited to commence our collaboration with FBR and to introduce their disruptive digital construction technologies into Mexico. It will allow us to further drive the affordable housing industry in the region through state-of-the-art digital precision. This collaboration with FBR is the next step in Grupo GP’s long and proud history of innovation within construction – an important step that will allow us to push the boundaries and set the pace for Mexico’s construction industry of tomorrow,” said Mr Andrés Garza, project developer at GP Vivienda.