When it comes to laying down bricks, humans have been doing it the same way for thousands of years now. But with rising construction costs and declining house affordability, there is a dire need for innovation in the construction industry. It has long been predicted that this revolution will be led by the introduction of automated robots to the industry. But outdoor usage of robots comes with its own set of challenges as it has to deal with environmental factors. But Australia-based FBR with its DSTTM technology is making it possible for robots to take over construction sites.
Formerly known as Fastbrick Robotics Limited, the company rebranded itself to become FBR recently. Founded in 1994, the company has been leading the revolution in bricklaying for years now. But the company in recent times has refocused its mission to lead yet another revolution. This time around, FBR is looking to use its expertise in industrial automation technology to change how the construction industry works. But that’s not all though. The company is looking further ahead to deploy its DSTTM technology for multiple industries.
The Invention of DSTTM
The idea of Dynamic Stablisation Technology (DSTTM) was developed by FBR’s CTO and chief inventor, Mark Pivac in 1994.
“I invented DSTTM to solve the problem of stabilising a robot at the end of a long moving boom, originally for an application that didn't have enough demand to justify its development cost.”
The DSTTM is a breakthrough precision technology that can help robots react to the smallest of winds, vibrations and other environmental factors which limit the outdoor usage of robots in various industries. The technology developed at FBR by the pioneering vision of Mark Pivac has shown great promise and has proven to be the future for robotic automation outdoors. But his idea was kept on hold for a long time. Eventually, he saw a window of opportunity.
“A decade later, a building boom converged with a shortage of bricklayers, driving the cost of laying a brick up to $1.25. I knew my idea's time had come.”
His ideas took shape as he filed patents for ‘automatic bricklaying system’ and then created the first Hadrian prototype using the seed funding between 2005-2008. The company demonstrated its prowess by building a wall using ground-mounted robots and mortar. This successful demonstration paved the way to the production of Hadrian 105 (predecessor of the revolutionary Hadrian X).
But the project by FBR kept hitting hurdles and often was at the brink of being forgotten. The global financial crisis in 2008 stalled the development of Hadrian 105 for years. The development eventually resumed only in 2014-2015.
In 2016, Hadrian 105 powered by the DSTTM impressed everyone by building the world’s first multi-room block structure from a 3D CAD model without any human intervention. This unprecedented occurrence paved the way for the development of Hadrian X.
Following the success of Hadrian 105, Hadrian X was on its way. FBR signed an MoU with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2017 which was the first step towards a potential project where Hadrian X would be used to build a minimum of 50,000 new houses by 2022.
The following year, the first Hadrian X was assembled. In the later part of 2018, Hadrian X proved its mettle by building the world’s first home that was completely unassisted by humans. The home was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home which came to fruition in under three days. Much recently, Hadrian X completed its first outdoor home structure.
Phenomenal Growth and Global Partnerships
The promise shown by FBR and its technology has found many backers. While the recognitions kept pouring in, the partnerships the company forged reassured it that it was doing the right thing. The first in the list was Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But the list grew as FBR signed agreements with Mexico based GP Vivienda, Wienerberger and Brickworks to work with Hadrian X.
Mark Pivac, Executive Director and CTO
Mark is the visionary and the primary inventor of FBR. He is an aeronautical and mechanical engineer who has experience of over 25 years in the field. He also has formidable experience working with pro/engineer 3D CAD software and high-level mathematics. He has also worked with design, commissioning, and fault finding on servo-controlled motion systems achieving very high dynamic performance.
- FBR won Gold at the Edison Awards in the Robotics category in 2019
- The Urban Developer Awards recognized FBR as the winner of Excellence in Construction Innovation in 2018
- At the iAwards National, FBR was recognized as the Inspiration of the Year
- In 2016, FBR was the Overall Winner of the Western Australia Innovator of the Year
“At FBR, we pride ourselves in the quality of our work and execute it with precision”
“Our company thrives on pushing boundaries and achieving the impossible. We are pioneers.”
“We act with integrity, aren't afraid to admit our mistakes and work together to come up with solutions”