Perth inventor Mark Pivac, an aeronautic and mechanical engineer, first thought of the invention in Perth’s bricklaying crisis of 2005.
“We’re at a technological nexus where a few different technologies have got to the level where it’s now possible to do it, and that’s what we’ve done,” Mr Pivac told PerthNow.
World, meet Hadrian
The robot is named Hadrian after the Roman Emperor, who constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma, rebuilt the Pantheon and built Hadrian’s Wall, the defensive structure also known as the ‘Wall of Antiquity’, that separated Roman Britain and Scotland.
Hadrian will be commercialised first in Western Australia. It will then be a new addition to heavy equipment in Australia, before taking a global position in heavy earth machinery parts.
The robot comes with some benefits over its human counterparts. To begin with, it lays 1,000 bricks per hour, and can work both day and night, regardless of weather conditions. This means that Hadrian has the potential to build 150 homes per year.
The construction industry will never be the same again.
“We have absolutely nothing against bricklayers,” Mr Pivac said.
“The problem is the average age of bricklayers is going up and it’s difficult to attract new, young people to the trade.”
Society has been laying bricks for over 6,000 years. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve thought about how we could automate the process, with no clear answer. Now, thanks to 3D CAD (computer-aided design) mapping, Hadrian provides an answer to an ancient problem.
Hadrian’s net worth
Mr Pivac and his cousin report that more than $7m has been spent on developing Hadrian, with significant support from the construction industry and federal government. DMY Capital Limited has conditionally acquired the company set up by the Pivacs, Fastbrick Robotics.
DMY chairman Gabriel Chiappini said: “We were immediately excited by the opportunity and see an enormous potential both domestically and later globally.”