Robots Come For Construction Workers With New Bricklaying Robot

It is likely that no jobs will be safe from robots in the future. Popular Mechanics notes such by way of an interesting development in which a robot that can lay bricks has broken its own record and continues to get faster.

A brick-laying robot named Hadrian X has broken its own record for speed, which is now up to 200 concrete blocks per hour—with the next landmark set at 240. (Its sibling robot Hadrian 112 aims to reach 1,000.)

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“When you consider that manual brick and block laying costs globally vary anywhere from AUD10 (US$6.90) per square meter to AUD100 (US$69) per square meter, we are already cost competitive across a broad range of the market at 200 blocks per hour,” Fastbrick Robotics CEO Mike Pivac said in a statement.

That’s before any labor shortage is taken into account—cost is irrelevant if you can’t persuade people to train for the gig. (In the U.S., numbers of construction workers have fallen since the 1960s, with a precipitous drop after the 2008 recession and yet-unknown ramifications from the COVID-19 recession.)

The robot works by using sensors and what Fastbrick calls Dynamic Stabilisation Technology (DST) to adjust for “wind, vibration and other environmental factors instantly, enabling precise positioning of objects over large distances outside,” the Australian firm says on its site.

The robot’s onboard computer has an entire 3D CAD rendering of the planned building, and the DST system helps it stay lined up and on task. In the video, it lays pristine, solid, concrete bricks in a dry situation, but Hadrian X can mortar as well. (source)

Right now, construction work is still safe, but the principle is already a warning shot.

Some people were called “luddites”- anti-technology advocates -in the 18th century who said that the upcoming technologies would destroy jobs and people’s livelihoods and cause major problems.

It is true that technology has done many good things. But they were also right about the negative consequences, which still in spite of many efforts have never been truly fixed in many ways.

We are on the edge of a fourth industrial revolution right now, by way of robotics and AI. For those paying attention, especially younger people, they need to pay close attention and prepare themselves for the changes take place to job market and be ready, as a lot of the future, just like the past, is going to be in the skills needed to make the machines run and maintain them.

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