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Could 'robot builder' Hadrian X put thousands of tradesmen out of business?

1-minute read

Bonny Dellow

5 August 2016

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A newly-designed robot builder can construct a whole house in just two days - but is this enough to leave tradesmen sweating over their future?

The robot’s named Hadrian X and was designed by Australian firm Fastbrick Robotics.

Impressively, Hadrian X is able to lay up to 1,000 bricks an hour - more than your average brickie can manage in a day - and its 30m arm means it can stay in one position the whole time.

How does Hadrian X work?

Bricks are placed onto the robot's long conveyor belt, so there is need for some human labour.

This conveyor belt feeds the bricks along Hadrian X’s 30m arm, until they reach a telescopic hand that picks up and arranges the bricks.

It binds the bricks together with construction glue rather than cement, and is intelligent enough to leave spaces in the brickwork for plumbing and wiring.

Bricklayers' wages are rocketing

The robot has some stiff competition, however, as demand for bricklayers has surged.

Bricklayers' wages hit £25 per hour recently amid a skills shortage in the UK, and demand for tradesmen is at its highest for decades.

And whilst brickies may be costly at the moment, it’s nothing compared to the £4.5m in research that it took to build Hadrian X.

And it's not just the cost of building Hadrian X - you'd expect the likes of maintanence and insurance to be fairly costly, especially when you compare it to the price of a brickie's tools or bricklayers' insurance.

Is Hadrian X a serious threat to bricklayers? Let us know below.

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