UK’s first home built by robot bricklayer

Aaron Morby 3 weeks ago
Share

A Yorkshire farmer will soon be moving into the first UK house to be built by a bricklaying robot.

Pocklington-based Construction Automation has put its robotic block and bricklayer to work after creating the first machine of its type to build around corners without stopping.

Its Automatic Brick Laying Robot (ABLR) has been four years in the making and has moved from factory testing to building its first home.

Once completed a farm manager will move into the three-bedroom single plot house in Everingham, Yorkshire.

In a world-first, the robot will lay all the bricks, blocks, and mortar while running on a track around the foundations.

Construction Automation was formed in May 2016 by entrepreneurs David Longbottom and Stuart Parkes.

“The house will contain around 10,000 bricks and will take the ABLR about two weeks to build, said Longbottom.

“It is the first house in the UK to be built by a robot, and possibly the first in the world.

“The ABLR comprises of the robot and a sophisticated software control system that reads digitised versions of architect’s plans.

“This instructs the robot exactly where to lay the blocks, bricks and mortar.”

(L-R) Parkes and Longbottom have gone into first commercial use after four years of development

Parkes, whose background also includes designing robots to lay subsea fibre optic cables, said being able to pump mortar at the volume needed to build a house was a particularly difficult problem to overcome.

He said: “In the end, the only solution was to design our own pump. That took a lot of testing and re-engineering until we got it right and it worked consistently, but by persevering, we have got there.”

Although the ABLR is almost market-ready, the partners are already working on further innovations including another robot that has the ability to place tiles.

Operation


The robot is controlled from a tablet and all the data about a specific build can be accessed remotely, making it very easy to assess progress on site at any time.

The job still requires just two people to work on each house – a labourer to load bricks and mortar into the robot and a skilled person to install tie bars, damp courses, and lintels, and to do the pointing.

The control system sends out alerts when these important jobs need doing, and then takes a photograph of the completed task to form a complete digital record of the key quality criteria.

Sensors measure each individual brick and then to line it up, so it is precisely central on the wall. The sensors also align the edge of each brick to produce a perfect finish.

The robotic laying arm sits on a nine-metre high vertical lift frame, removing the need for scaffolding and for people to work at height.

With the in-built vertical lift, the machine can build easily to the height of a standard two-storey house, so it is much safer than building in the traditional way.

Construction Automation has already secured patent in the USA on the technology, and a European and UK patent is expected to follow shortly.

David added that once the ABLR had completed this house, the company would be ready to go into full production.

Latest news

Green light for £1bn London hotel

Kensington Forum scheme is huge vote of confidence in capital's hospitality sector
19 hours ago

Pothole repair robot unveiled in Liverpool

University team hope AI technology will revolutionise road maintenance
16 hours ago

Lone Star offer to buy McCarthy & Stone for £630m

Private equity investor swoops with recommended cash offer to buy retirement homes specialist
23 hours ago

Legal & General signs construction deal with nine contractors

Southern construction partners chosen by Inspired Villages - more regions now up for grabs
23 hours ago

Priti Patel snubs plea to ease controls on foreign brickies

Some big brickwork contractors warn four in five workers are EU nationals
23 hours ago

Plans in for Poole quay housing and hotel scheme

Fisherman's Dock plan for 228 flats and boutique hotel
23 hours ago

McAleer & Rushe bounces back with £350m haul of orders

Spate of wins restores two-year order book to near pre-Covid levels
23 hours ago

Graham signs off £161m Aberdeen hospital deal

Work to start next month of Baird Family Hospital and ANCHOR cancer centre
23 hours ago

ISG starts new £50m Royal Marsden cancer centre

Oak Cancer Centre due for completion in Summer 2022
2 days ago

Vital Energi lands £6.58m energy centre deal

Specialist to build Combined Heat & Power centre on Galliford Try site
2 days ago
Vital Energi

Causeway Donseed offers non-contact site monitoring

Facial recognition makes access control Covid safe
2 days ago

Osborne wins prelims for £1.7bn Stonehenge route

Record £35m archaeological protection and excavation deal also signed
2 days ago

Industry door and window supplier collapses

North West's Total Glass falls into administration
2 days ago

Hill Group launches £300m London land grab

Land buying drive to boost housing pipeline in the capital
2 days ago

Mace £500m Stevenage town centre revamp approved

Mace says town centre plan is a blueprint for Government build back better ambitions
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe wins Brixton archive and homes job

Final phase of Muse's Lambeth Town Hall scheme gets underway
2 days ago

Alumasc and Travis Perkins see sales continue to rise

Post lockdown demand continues but commercial construction lagging other sectors
2 days ago

Big name winners confirmed for CITB management training cash

Major contractors get £2.8m towards in-house training for senior staff
3 days ago

B&K starts £70m MediaCity resi scheme

14 and 17 storey blocks will contain 280 flats for sale
3 days ago

Civils outfit Bemus heads for liquidation owing £4.6m

Founder Sean Walsh applies for creditors voluntary liquidation
3 days ago

UWE Bristol to tender 900-bed student digs

Trio of six-storey blocks to be built at Frenchay Campus.
3 days ago

Amey trials pothole repair material made from old tyres

Unique rubber-modified material may be coming to Sheffield’s roads
3 days ago

HS2 reveals low-slung viaduct designs

Northamptonshire Edgcote and Lower Thorpe viaducts designed to be unobtrusive
4 days ago

Van Elle wins HS2 ground improvement deal

Firm will vibro pile 4,000 stone columns in north west London
4 days ago

Skanska wins Bristol Temple Street office job

Work to start next month on One Portwall Square project
4 days ago

Three sisters set-up plant hire business

Finnegan sisters buy first kit after securing funding deal
3 days ago

Network Rail SME spend tops £2.5bn for first time

Small and medium-sized firms account for 36% of total rail spend
4 days ago

Construction fears force immediate evacuation of London estate

Inspections raise serious concerns about Berkeley-built modular housing and student blocks
5 days ago

Bellway recladding costs overshadow hit from Covid

Pre-tax profit slumps 62% after £47m set aside for recladding and extra Covid costs
4 days ago

Workers stunned by construction pay freeze plan

Union slams "missed opportunity" to reward workers who have continued throughout pandemic
5 days ago

Contractor services