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The Motor Mason of Tomorrow
The mechanical bricklayer from the 1960s was known as Motor Mason, and it was claimed to lay five to ten bricks more than the conventional bricklaying methods. The bricklayer would be placed parallel to a wall where it would first throw on some mortar, after which it would place bricks over the same
FREMONT, CA: Home automation is rapidly becoming an inevitable part of human life today. The trend has shown tremendous growth over the years and even managed to invade the construction industry. Automation technologies are considered to be the symptom of the contemporary 21st century. However, automated construction technology can be traced back to the 1960s. The bricklaying robot was found to be the pinnacle of automated construction over 50 years ago, but has transformed radically over the years.
The mechanical bricklayer from the 1960s was known as Motor Mason, and it was claimed to lay five to ten bricks more than the conventional bricklaying methods. The bricklayer would be placed parallel to a wall where it would first throw on some mortar, after which it would place bricks over the same. The machine gained a lot of traction and attention in the 60s as the new invention was broadcasted across the U.K. However, the Motor Mason disappeared from the construction industry and public imagination.
Construction Robotics, debuted its new bricklaying robot, SAM100 (Semi-Automated Mason), and claimed it increased productivity by three to five times. The company cited social concerns such as workplace safety and improved job planning as justifications for its adoption. Despite being 50 years ahead of the Motor Mason, the resemblance between the two is uncanny. The SAM100 is highly advanced than its predecessor when it comes to technological capability. The new and upgraded version of the Mason Master is no longer restricted to parallel movements, and it can handle corners and curves as well. SAM100 includes a conveyor built, a mobile robotic arm, and a concrete pump capable of being programmed to change brick patterning and layout. It is accompanied by data tracking technologies that reveal daily performance reports on productivity and job issues, allowing masons to modify, and improve construction strategies.
Soon after the launch of SAM100, Australian firm Fastbrick Robotics released its own automated bricklaying machine, named Hadrian X. Similar to the SAM100, Hadrian X is highly technologically advanced, with several characteristics that nonetheless distinguish it from its contemporary. Emphasizing on precision, the machine is aided by CAD modeling and dynamic stabilization technologies not only toward the end of more exact construction but also to work toward zero-waste construction and lower costs. Like all other machines in the market, speed and safety continue to be the primary consideration of the device.
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