Inspired by the lack of new technology in the construction business, a student at the University of Toronto designed a bricklaying robot that could help automatize masonry.


This technology could easily reduce costs, improve quality, and reduce the need for skilled labor.

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Bricklaying is highly repetitive and physically exhaustive, therefore, it is logical to consider automatization for this process. Also, the lack of skilled workers is a problem confronted by many industrialized countries. Mason robots could build more quickly, more accurately and waste less material, eventually decreasing the whole cost of construction.

Human workers can only work for a certain length of time and require feeding and other costs such as insurance and pension schemes. A robotic approach on the other hand can work 24 hours and only requires a cheap amount of electricity when compared to the wage of skilled workers

The idea isn’t new, there are other bricklaying robots out there, however, they require extensive programming and high consumption of energy, delivering low productivity. According to this new project’s designer, Mateus Lemes de Aguiar, “This project aims to design and evaluate the prototype, confirming its accuracy, which can improve the construction, making it faster, cheaper, and with lower waste rates.

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The project consists of a 1.7 m high robot, which can extend up to 3.0 m to build higher walls. Light enough to be carried by a single worker, it’s dimensions allow it to easily move about the construction site and pass through doorways. It lays down the bricks at a rate of approximately 2400 bricks an hour, a huge efficiency leap from the 140 bricks per hour of an average worker. The bricklayer pumps mortar onto the wall through it’s nozzles, then grips brick by brick, laying them down over the mortar layer. After each brick layer is complete, it automatically rises to the height of the next layer and starts the process all over again, laying all the layers of the wall until its completion.

A 1/4 scale model was built for feasibility and mechanism analysis and used for further optimization. As a prototypical technology, it is still under development and improvement, but with the predicted building boom and the decreasing availability of a skilled workforce, the construction industry can definitely profit from the automatization of the bricklaying process.

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Source © James Dyson Award

All images courtesy of Mateus Lemes De Aguiar

Do you think this could really be used on an everyday Construction site?