Clay Technology May 2017

Back in August 2015, Simon Frost wrote on the development of Fastbrick Robotics’ Hadrian, a prototype device that could reportedly lay 1,000 bricks an hour. In addition to removing physical hardship, Fastbrick claimed that Hadrian would make bricklaying ‘much more fun and allow [bricklayers] to use their brains.’ It is a tune repeated as Natalie Daniels discusses the latest in mechanical brickies. SAM, which requires pairing with bricklayers to be operational, has been positioned by Construction Robotics as a solution to the skills gap and ageing workforce. But how does this mesh with the company’s claim that overall labour costs for bricklaying projects can be reduced by 50%?

The automated future and the construction sector skills gap are deeply intertwined, and while Clay Technology addresses the latter with regularity, and bricklaying robots have previously found coverage in these pages, automation as either saviour or threat is rarely discussed. What are your thoughts? Let us know at

While a machine may one day replace you and I, IOM3 Technical Division Coordinator and Materials Advisor Geoff Hale remained indispensible but for his recent retirement. Although Geoff will continue to support a number of IOM3 projects, he was a constant source of information and support for the Clay Technology team, and he will be sorely missed. We would like to wish Geoff the very best for the future.


News this issue:

Are there bricks on Mars?

Economic digest

Wienerberger adds more slender bricks

Robot brickies could help humans

From liquid to ceramic