UK’s first home built by robot bricklayer

Aaron Morby 1 year 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

Liverpool student block developer goes under

Subbies owed millions as Mount Group Student Natex goes into administration
1 day ago

HS2 downsizes Euston station to save costs

Shift from 11 to 10 platforms allows station to be built in one stage rather than two
2 days ago

Naive QSs storing up trouble in chase for lowest bids

Subcontractors say tendering for jobs at the moment is like the "Wild West"
2 days ago

Accountant being investigated over nmcn audit

Regulator launches probe into 2019 accounts which showed healthy profit
2 days ago

Murphy trials AI warning cameras at site danger zones

Smart camera warning system picks up incorrect PPE and workers at risk
2 days ago

£35m Nottingham art school gets green light

Work will start early next year on the nine-storey block
2 days ago

Vinci seals £77m Bristol student accommodation job

Work to start next month on one of largest Passivhaus certified schemes in the UK
2 days ago

Mace chair Pycroft to stand down

Industry veteran calls it a day after nearly 30 years at Mace
2 days ago

Laing O’Rourke on course for float after strong results

Pre-tax profit of £41.4m despite Covid as country's largest private contractor eyes stock market listing
3 days ago

Three in race for latest £500m HS2 contract

Shortlist confirmed for 36 mile section connecting the West Midlands and Crewe
3 days ago

End of timber shortages in sight

Softwood imports catch up with demand but delivery problems persist
3 days ago

Sheffield Hallam University’s £220m city campus gets nod

BAM to start work early next year in first education pain-gain share alliance
3 days ago

London and North West labour rates rise for third month

Two regions becoming fresh pinch points for labour
3 days ago

ISG clinches £21m National Cycling Centre upgrade

Manchester velodrome set for major refit and green upgrade
3 days ago

Keltbray appoints new director to head-up HS2 contracts

Former Carillion and Network Rail director Neil Lindley to lead HS2 works
3 days ago

Furious nmcn subbies left holding £60m in unpaid bills

Suppliers believe they were "strung along" by nmcn management
4 days ago

Battle starts for £600m YORbuild minor works deal

Third generation framework to emphasise offsite and net zero capability
4 days ago

JCB targets first hydrogen diggers by end of 2022

Plant giant is investing £100m in developing super-efficient hydrogen engines
4 days ago

Ringway to replace Kier on Surrey roads deal worth up to £2.5bn

Massive maintenance contract could last up to 21 years
4 days ago

House builders and public bodies get biggest CITB training grants

Housing giants and councils among biggest beneficiaries
4 days ago

BAM Nuttall names new major projects MD

Richard Prime promoted to fill role vacated by Ian Parish who is now Interim MD
4 days ago

Offsite Homes Alliance courts firms for £4bn MMC framework

Alliance of social landlords in the North aims to build 10,000 offsite homes per year.
4 days ago

Multiplex set to start on £50m Crossrail office site

Developer Grosvenor awards deal based on bidders' commitment to science based carbon reduction targets
4 days ago

Foreign investors to pump £10bn into UK green infrastructure

Wind farms, green warehouses and sustainable homes make up sustainable infrastructure spend
5 days ago

Bellway targets £1.25bn profit over next two years

Material and labour shortages hamper plans to ramp-up construction levels
5 days ago

Pay deal ends strike threat by cement drivers

More than 200 Hanson HGV drivers win 6% pay rise
5 days ago

Segro plans first urban six-storey industrial building

Innovative new industrial building includes two floors for car parking
5 days ago

Ballymore puts in plans for major Royal Docks scheme

Construction could start in 2023 on 1,610 new homes on riverfront site
5 days ago

Morgan Sindall takes social housing upkeep into ‘tech age’

Firm's Goldeni remote home health monitoring system for preventive repairs
5 days ago

Electrical engineer killed as car crashes into pavement job

Second worker seriously injured after vehicle careered off the road in Rochdale
6 days ago

Contractor services