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Thu May 23 2019

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Brick-laying robots set to start building houses

7 May Robots are set to start building the walls of houses through a new company launched in Australia.

Robotics firm FBR and product supplier Brickworks will build walls for the Australian market via 50/50 joint venture company Fastbrick Australia.

Fastbrick Australia aims to engage with builders to provide ‘Wall as a Service’ for residential homes in Australia via commercial building contracts, with FBR providing laying services via the Hadrian X construction robot and Brickworks providing masonry blocks optimised for use with the robot. The activities are anticipated to generate the first operating revenues from the commercialisation of FBR's robotic bricklaying technology, which uses the Hadrian X robot. The new agreement replaces the existing memorandum of understanding between the two companies (link opens in new tab).

Under the terms of the joint venture, Brickworks will provide services for the development of blocks suitable for laying with the Hadrian X robot, and will have the exclusive right to supply those blocks to Fastbrick Australia within Australia. FBR will, in turn, have the exclusive rights to supply laying services to Fastbrick Australia within Australia through the use of the Hadrian X.

The JV is set to begin a pilot programme, starting with the testing of a new block developed jointly specifically for the Hadrian X bricklaying robot. Initial ‘Wall as a Service’ operations will begin shortly and will be focused on residential construction.

Brickworks has already supplied FBR with the first shipment of concrete masonry blocks, which have been developed and optimised for use with the Hadrian X. Testing of the blocks is under way at FBR’s facility in High Wycombe, Western Australia.

The joint venture has an initial term of three years, which can be extended by agreement.

“Fastbrick Australia provides FBR with an opportunity in Australia to demonstrate the capabilities of the Hadrian X with the new optimised blocks developed with Brickworks and also to demonstrate and test our business model for the commercialisation of Wall as a Service, which we intend to scale on a global basis,” FBR chief executive officer Mike Pivac. “We are looking forward to commencing our first builds on residential sites with the Hadrian X.”

Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge added: “Brickworks is pleased to be working with FBR in this joint venture to offer Wall as a Service using the Hadrian X to lay Brickworks block in the Australian building market and to test the commercialisation of Wall as a Service in this market.”

MPU

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