General Shale parent observes masonry robot’s productive dexterity

FBR tested the Hadrian X robot’s potential to build walls with a wide range of Wienerberger unit masonry, placed on beds of adhesive versus conventional mortar.

Robotics technology developer FBR Limited of High Wycombe, Western Australia, recently completed the first house using its Hadrian X. The block- and brick-placing robot was demonstrated at the company’s headquarters with Porotherm clay block from Vienna-based Wienerberger Group, parent company of North American brick leader General Shale.

The structure was built in a style commonly found in Europe, featuring gable ends approximately 5 meters high. Porotherm are the largest blocks the Hadrian X has placed to date. FBR used double leaf and single leaf units to form a monolithic, European code-compliant exterior and interior wall system. Each R25 Porotherm is equivalent to 12 standard brick; Wienerberger shipped a variety of units to Australia for the demonstration, which used two adhesive bonding agents, one common to FBR work, the second to projects in Europe.

While they intended to complete a pilot building program in Wienerberger’s home base, the parties undertook the exercise in Australia to advance their collaboration within the limitations of the economic conditions and travel restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. FBR and Wienerberger are interested in a European pilot when external circumstances allow, confident the Hadrian X can perform with the market’s architectural parameters and unit masonry offerings.

“We are very pleased to be progressing our relationship with Wienerberger, the largest producer of clay blocks in the world, [and] committed to advancing robotic construction together and improving the efficiency, sustainability and digitalization of the construction industry,” says FBR Managing Director Mike Pivac.

FBR tested the Hadrian X robot’s potential to build walls with a wide range of Wienerberger unit masonry, placed on beds of adhesive versus conventional mortar.