The construction industry is set to embrace robotics and all its associated efficiencies, with Fastbrick Robotics (ASX: FBR) laying out its plans for the remainder of this year.
The company is developing a revolutionary “construction robot” that capable of build an entire single-storey house in under 2 days.
Fastbrick claims its technology is the first stage of a revolution in human/machine collaborative digital construction, taking the benefits of fully automated machines onto the construction site. But in order to make this a reality, it now faces several stages of testing to ensure its technology is competent in its claims.
Its first construction robot, the Hadrian 105, successfully completed the first block printed structure from a mobile base 20 meters (65 feet) away in 2015. The Hadrian 105 also paved the way for the construction of the first commercial prototype block laying robot, the Hadrian X, that can construct the walls of an average sized dwelling in just two days.
Three years on, the company has moved on to standing on the verge of manufacturing a robot that can construct full-scale houses in outdoor environments.
The Hadrian X construction robot represents the first application of the Company’s underlying dynamic stabilisation technology (DST) and associated intellectual property with its system already proved on a smaller scale.
Fastbrick now wants to upscale its technology as well as rigorously test its capabilities to ensure dependability and ultimately, the commercial certainty that its technology can construct structures that meet technical standards.
The company says its Hadrian X construction robot is “on track to be fully assembled by the end of the current quarter” with its technical team having grown to 140 employees. In addition to its technical progress, the software elements required to direct the Hadrian X are also close to completion by the end of June.
Fastbrick’s “software team” recently developed several new features, including a waste management system and the ability to create projects for two and three-storey applications for future testing.
Following the assembly and integration of software, Fastbrick expects to move onto a series of rigorous tests to be conducted over the course of this year that intend to show that its DST meets the functional and technical requirements set by construction industry regulators and other related health and safety standards used in the construction industry.
After the completion of DST testing, the Hadrian X programme is expected to move on to a Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) phase. This testing process requires the Hadrian X to build structures in different configurations within a controlled factory environment.
The goal of FAT is to determine whether the Hadrian X is capable of all possible technical variations in how its building blocks are laid and put together. In other words, a means of determining whether the Hadrian X is flexible enough to accept all possible variations in build design.
Into the outside
Following the successful completion of FAT sometime this year, Fastbrick says its Hadrian X will be field-tested in an outdoor environment in building its first full-size house — a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom structure, known as Build1 (a standard bungalow common to Australian property owners).
Fastbrick has said that completion of Build1 is presently scheduled for the second half this year with many of the required facets already completed such as the 3D CAD model design and required “slab preparations”.
Furthermore, in addition to designing a revolutionary assembly of structures, Fastbrick also wants to change the size of standard bricks and essentially how they are glued together. Fastbrick has invented an “optimised block” to be used by the Hadrian X, which is equivalent in size to 11 standard house bricks and weighs less than 20 kilograms.
“This block has been designed to optimise the performance of the Hadrian X, to reduce waste and for use with its proprietary “construction adhesive” rather than traditional mortar,” according to Fastbrick.
“We are excited to be drawing closer to assembly completion and taking the Hadrian X outdoors for testing and Build1. This is the first time in history that a construction robot of this nature has been assembled and it’s a testament to the calibre of our team, that we are now nearing assembly completion. Given that the Hadrian X is just the first application of our proprietary dynamic stabilisation technology, we are looking forward to validating it with the Hadrian X in real-world outdoor conditions during the coming months,” said Mike Pivac, CEO of Fastbrick Robotics.
“The Hadrian X is almost here — it’s the first part of a digital construction system which we believe will change the world, making housing affordable for everyone,” he added.