In a world where digitalisation has and will continue to become increasingly apparent, one sector where you might have been forgiven in expecting somewhat of a time-lag before the ‘revolution’ was introduced, could have been in the construction sector, and in particular, the brick-laying domain.
Wrong. Introducing Sam, the brick-laying construction Robot.
A U.S based firm has developed a machine’ named SAM – short for ‘Semi-Automated Mason, which is capable of laying 3,000 bricks a day. That’s significantly more than most human builders, who can lay on average 500 bricks a day.
The device has already started replacing human activity on sites in America, and now the move has been made across the sea’ in to the UK, with one business gaining exclusive distribution rights of the automated equipment in the UK.
While the technology may put many employees in the sector on alert, it should be noted that at this stage the Robot’ does not completely dismiss the need for human intervention. The electronic Mason’ does assist with repetitive and strenuous tasks of lifting and placing each brick, as well as applying mortar, but the finer intricacies still require manual input.
Site ownership is still reliant on human operatives, and without doubt, SAM still needs heavy supervision to complete more challenging builds, such as angled-bring laying, notwithstanding any site clear-up process.
There is no question that the development can bring about multiple benefits in its current state, including time, cost and health and safety efficiencies, however, with some fine tuning in the future, the robot could prove advantageous in many more areas.
SAM isn’t likely to be the only new addition to the industry. An Australian company is also currently prototyping Hadrian X – another commercial brick-laying machine, which the producers have stated is able to form a typical house structure within 2-days.
Some may argue that the change is a necessity with a third of Britain’s construction workers aged 50 or older, according to recent figures. In essence that means 620,000 people are expected to retire within the next decade, during a period where the government has publicly issued an objective to increase housing availability across the country.
Interesting times ahead for sure. But for now, Mick’s Mates is the best alternative for all your brick-laying needs……