Construction Robotics of Victor, New York, has developed a bricklaying robot known as SAM – Semi-Automated Mason – that can lay 2,000 to 3,000 bricks in an eight-hour day compared with 400 to 600 for a human mason. Last year, it erected the brick façade of the lower floors of a 180-unit apartment building in Chicago.
“It’s more productive,” says Jim Weyer, president of Richards and Weyer, the masonry company for the project. The firm was able to use just two bricklayers instead of seven, cutting costs despite the $2,900 weekly rental fee for SAM.
Construction Robotics executive Zak Podkaminer says other multifamily builders are lining up. And single-family homes are a possibility, though smaller facades would be built in factories.