Brick-Laying Machine Builds Without Mortar

Move over, 3D printed houses. There’s a new game in town, and it is able to use standard concrete blocks to build the walls of a house in just one day.

Australian company FBR’s Hadrian X is a tablet-controlled system that follows CAD models to lay the blocks one by one. As you can see in the video after the break, the blocks are laid so quickly that there’s no time for mortar, so they dip the bottom of each block in construction adhesive instead. In the second video after the break, you can watch Hadrian-X build a curved wall.

There are several things to consider when it comes to outdoor robots, such as wind and unwanted vibration. In order to correct for these nuisances, FBR came up with Dynamic Stabilisation Technology (DST). While we don’t have a lot of details on DST, the company calls it “a highly accurate system that continuously adjusts the position of a robot’s end effector to ensure it is always held with stability at the correct point in 3D space.”

Curious about printed housing? Here’s the current-ish state of affairs.

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ALEKYA Builds With Bricks And Mortar

Construction is often a labor-intensive task, particularly in the developing world where access to electricity and machinery can be limited. As always, robots promise to help ease the burden. [Nishant Agarwal] is working on just such a project, known as ALEKYA.

The aim of ALKEYA is to make construction easier and more automated, with the help of robotics. We’ve seen large-scale concrete printers before, but ALEKYA takes a different tack. With a focus on making use of local materials, it combines two gantries on a single frame. One lays down a bead of mortar, before the other swoops in to drop bricks into position. This is followed by another layer of mortar, and the build continues.

By using this manner of construction, progress can be much more rapid compared to more traditional 3D printing techniques which must build up height layer by layer. Currently operating on a small scale, the next step for the project is the construction of a 20×20 foot version for creating full-sized buildings.

We think there’s definite promise in this hybrid approach, and can’t wait to see what comes next! Video after the break.

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