Could a brick-laying robot disrupt the construction industry?

The new robot measures error in fractions of an inch

New York Weekend Edition /
Feb.February 24, 2018 05:25 PM

(Credit from back: U.S. Air Force photo Senior Airman Damon Kasberg, Pexels)

Known officially as the Semi-Autonomous Mason Sam100, or just Sam, the robot is already at work on construction sites across the U.S.

Sam can lay a brick every 8.5 seconds, according to The Financial Times. At that rate, Sam can lay 3,000 bricks in an eight hour shift whereas a human worker can lay an average of between 300 and 600.

“I can call up all the data on my phone,” architect Nate Podkaminer, who has Sam working on his construction site, told the Times. “I know what time each brick was laid, the weather, temperature and humidity. Down in Virginia we’ve laid 121,000 bricks working 10- to 12-hour days.”

According to a recent report by McKinsey, the construction industry worldwide is facing a labor shortage, as building demand outpaces the number of workers available. Sam, or the other construction robots under development, might be just what the contractor ordered. [FT]Erin Hudson


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