Perth-based company Fastbrick Robotics Limited (FBR) announced on 7 June that it had completed the assembly of its revolutionary bricklaying robot, the Hadrian X.

Based in High Wycombe, FBR designs, develops and builds construction robots that can work in demanding outdoor environments. Hadrian X is a construction robot mounted on a truck to easily transport it to and from building sites. It has been designed with the smallest possible worksite footprint, while maintaining a 30m reach. Using FBR’s core Dynamic Stabilisation Technology (DST), Hadrian X measures movement caused by wind, vibration and inertia, and counteracts it in real time using advanced algorithms to lay bricks with unprecedented precision.

Although Hadrian X can lay standard house bricks, it is optimised to work with the Fastbrick Wall System, which uses blocks approximately 12 times bigger than standard bricks and are lighter, stronger and designed to minimise waste. The blocks are fused together using a special adhesive, which bonds in just 45 minutes, holds stronger and results in greater thermal and acoustic properties than traditional mortar.

According to FBR, it will take Hadrian X between one and three days to build the walls of a home, depending on the type of block used and the complexity of the design. In the right environment and working continuously, each robot could build between 100 and 300 homes per year. FBR’s plan is to commercialise a range of products for the construction sector, as well as DST-enabled solutions for other industries.

FBR has commenced mechanical testing and commissioning of the Hadrian X, and is working towards testing the DST system to confirm it meets the functional and technical requirements. The programme will then move to factory acceptance testing, where the Hadrian X will build structures in different configurations within a controlled factory environment. Finally it will move outdoors for field testing in preparation for its first house build: a three-bedroom, two-bathroom structure known as Build1, scheduled late 2018.

“This represents the start of a very important phase for FBR, where we’ll get the opportunity to globally demonstrate the Hadrian X and get everyone excited about what now exists in construction technology, and what might be possible for the future,” said FBR’s CEO Mike Pivac. Our focus is to scale this product and get it into the market with our partner organisations, as well as applying the underlying technology to a range of products across a range of other sectors. For our team here, that points to a long-term future.”

The software that drives each component of the Hadrian X has also been completed, with extensive virtual testing of the interaction of those components in the advanced stages. Testing in a virtual environment has allowed the control systems team to work beyond the mechanical progress of the project, in the process derisking the Hadrian X programme.

“We are very pleased from a programme management point of view that we have completed both the mechanical assembly and the software modules that drive each component of the Hadrian X in parallel, maximising the effectiveness of both teams,” said Chief Techical Officer Mark Pivac. “The ability to apply our learnings from the software development before we arrived at the mechanical testing phase has allowed us to derisk a lot of the work still to come, which is a great result for the company.”