Meet SAM, the bricklaying robot

SCOTT L. PETERS: So our system is called SAM for Semi Automated Mason and it’s been developed by our company, Construction Robotics. The SAM system is working alongside masons helping them install brick. They can handle a wide variety of bricks that are used out there in construction; primarily for veneer, commercial construction, most of your institutions, your schools. It’s really designed to help your commercial masonry contractors increase their productivity and help reduce some of the heavy lifting from the mason. The mason still works alongside SAMs. They are still responsible for setting SAM up. They’re still responsible for striking the joints and ensuring the best wall quality and using some of the knowledge and the skills that they have but they don’t have to have the physical demand on their body that they might previously. That can help even some of the older masons work alongside SAM and not have to lift and place every brick. And we’re successful here and we can bring robotics and automation into the industry if we can help construction as a whole be more successful. That’s really going to ultimately help the U.S. economy and even help jobs in to the U.S. We can help provide a very interesting dynamic aspect to the construction process where you’re using robotics and construction at the same time, and you can really help attract young talent into the industry. NSF’s been an instrumental part of our work. It’s really been what enabled to us to go after and develop a high risk technology like this. Bringing robotics and automation into the construction industry is a challenge on multiple fronts, one from both the technology side but also on the business and implementation side and I think the ability for NSF to come in and support that has been really what enabled us to be able to pursue this technology and enter this industry.

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100 thoughts on “Meet SAM, the bricklaying robot

  1. "good for the economy" Once that thing becomes fully automated he wont have a job. Some how someone convinced this guy that robots create more jobs. Completely false notion.

  2. What is the world coming to! This robot will take away thousands of skilled masons.Not to mention the time this takes to lay one brick most skilled bricklayers can lay 2 or 3 in the time it takes to lay one all its going to do is take away jobs for the people who need it.

  3. This is 2nd wave robotics. Once Machine Learning and robotics start working with each other, the Skilled labor will be GONE in commercial building. Architects will start designing, with AI/Robotics in mind, and the only thing left will be Technicians and simple labor. This will not happen in 20 years, but maybe 40-50 for sure. only Custom work will slowly carry on. It happened to the furniture industry, now only skilled carpenters are few and far between making money.

  4. That we are still using small bricks is pretty dumb in and of itself(with all respect to masons as its a tough job and I admire the craftsmanship). The Chinese have moved away from it and are pouring 20 houses a day using formed cement walls. If you want to put veneer brick sheets on after or use a mold with brick lines/texture thats an option too.

  5. LMAO at this guy. the robot was laying like a drunk hack.. one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. but you can make one lay all my Big block

  6. That's for lazy bastards that can't work hard!! I'm sure they like it cuz they can stand there all day and do nothing.

  7. Bricklayers have been trying to get somebody to do there job as long as i have been in the trade. They dont want to teach their apprentices how to cut brick or block why should they want to teach them how to lay brick or block this way they can just stay home. We got this

  8. How can it help the economy and the the skilled worker if they become loaders and pointers, no skill for that and gets lower pay. Plus it is slow as an apprentice.

  9. he said guys would no longer have to lift bricks, eh somebody still has to lift bricks to put onto the machine.

  10. seen one in news international in Merseyside in 1995 and that soon got the bullet. 2×1 gang can put 1500 to 2000 brick in a day. How many men does it take to run that machine. Looking at the Video two men jointing up cleaning the mortar off, the out side wall and cavity, one man feeding bricks and two men running it. So how do they work the wages out at the end of the week. Leave the professional to build the walls and go and weight your machine in at the scrap yard

  11. Ha ha! In time the automations will be able to tidy up the mortar too. Bye bye 'working class' jobs, the populists won't be able to blame immigrants this time around.

  12. I like to see, how they use robot for bricklaying and then mix concrete using a shovel.

  13. All these Luddites in the comment section. Get a grip, automation is here to stay & continue to get better over time. Your moaning & complaining about it won't stop it.

  14. too slow- what about solider courses; overhanging courses; bulls eyes; radius walls; foundations ;arches;what if the concrete is low one side does it know to bed up ;brick out-of different pallets can be different sizes ;this machine is only going to work in the perfect conditions I'm building 25 years and have yet to see perfect conditions

  15. it will come down to cost in the end .always does ,my two and one gang build the shell of a detached house in two and a half weeks all told cutting out waiting for scaffold or joiners.quicker and cheaper than robots .timber frame isnt the answer either for cost or time.cladding is the real enemy of trad. brickies futures.

  16. This is an example of a robot providing better quality work, without putting too many people out of a job.

    It does allow the bricklaying to be done slightly faster, and at slightly lower cost, but that just means more places will opt for brickwork, which was previously cost prohibitive.

  17. Yeah, and you need three guys to watch that it doesn't screw up. Typical over-engineering. America's fascination of autonomous robotics is not green or creating jobs, it's just another angle for making money.

  18. Seems like most people in the comments haven't seen Charlie and the Chocolate factory…

    remember the bit where Charlie's dad loses his job to a robot?

    Then he ends up being the guy that fixes the robot?

    One job lost, at least 2 more created…

  19. It will NOT help jobs. I'm an automation engineer and I've been out of work for 3.5 years. The jobs that are automated are never coming back!

  20. The only thing this thing can do is grab a brick and put it down, not worth investing in it tbh. Its far more efficient to pay a few skilled men for laying bricks, that's not to say that the construction industry cannot change and adapt to automation. Houses could be made out of other materials that would be easier to automate a robot for.

    But engineering a robot to do something that men have been doing for thousands of years is stupid. Why don't think think about new ways of building structures?

  21. What I like about Sam:

    He won't turn up late and say he just had to go look at another job
    He won't want to use your toilet
    He won't stop for tea breaks
    He won't smoke and throw his cigarette butts on your lawn

  22. wow… he can lie so well. This machine is a predecessor to the one that will do away with brickies altogether …. for their own good of course. Maybe they can get a job lifting the bricks into the robot, before that's automated as well.

  23. And again, a man must do harder work at the end, to line up mortar, clean it up, take off surplus mortar between bricks. At the end, nothing without man. One most important thing is that mortar (with concrete is similar story – drying lasts, lets say forever, but most important period is 21 days after laying cement on the spot, foundation or wherever, where's advisable to spray water on it occasionally, every day), must dry itself for certain period, usually one day. So, 13 layers of brick (for standard height of 2.5 m averagely, cannot be set so fast – due to mortar drying time. It is wet, and it takes time to stabilize that wall. However, I don't know what kind of glue they're using, but it must be wet, to integrate itself with bricks. But this is a big step forward.

  24. What is going on? We are trying to make ourselves redundant are we not? The world's population is growing so what a great idea make robots to do our work, marvellous idea! Let's get rid of the wife and husband as well

  25. This machine takes up way to much space on building sites which in this day and age have less room. Automated bricklaying machines are not a new concept. Just that it seems there are more people these days have more money than sense to invest in them. It never fails to amaze me people who comment, invent these devices have no concept of what problems arise on a building site outside of a robotic arm laying a brick……With any concept, one needs to weigh the positives against the negatives. The list of negatives is long, the list of positives is very short indeed. Tax dodge for investors. Don't let that stop you from watching a well edited video and forming your opinions though.

  26. Seems like youre doing just as much heavy lifting loading the brick and mortar into the machine. Its good to see this is being developed as long as people realise this is early backer technology and nowhere near good enough to be justifiable economically

  27. The arrogance of the inventors and people in general is amazing…Once Bricklayers(Tradesman)were paid the same as doctors and lawyers…Now they class the ABSOLUTE SKILL of bricklaying nothing more than “skilled LABOR””it is disgusting…The robot will fail because you FAIL to understand and RESPECT the Genius KRAFT of bricklaying that no robot can recreate…

  28. Would love to see the robot lay bricks in a tight area or overhand , lots of comments on here from people who never laid a brick in there life, the prefabricated panels that need jointing up might be used for certain projects, but just not practical for all, as for sparks being the be all and end all your having a laugh!

  29. It lays 3000+ bricks a day butt there still walking about 4 or 5 guys next to him .that thing on the movie cost a fortune need maintens a lot of different programs for different bonds they said it will be lighter work for the people butt laying the bricks is not the problem. Getting the stones and the mortar where the wall needs to come that the heaviest part of building a brick those 4 or 5 guys walking around the machine can also lay 3000 plus brick don't cost you a couple of millions!!! And it only can do straight walls if i have to believe the movie .not the real special brickwork.

  30. What a joke how many workman to operate and joint up then brush off ill give it a race don't care what they claim I'll win no problem also how much is the cost to buy robotics putting people out of work so tax income decreases then everything else will should be stopped in the job market

  31. Fair enough he claims its to help reduce the heavy lifting etc etc but bricklayers take pride in there work it's an art we don't want it plus wages will reduce try building an apex or chimney

  32. What kind of name is Sam ? They should have named it Manny, Luigi, Mario or Giuseppe. Also give the robot an extra hand for a smoke.

  33. Here we go again………………………

    Been trying this since the 1050`s in the UK since the 1950`s.
    It has always failed……and always will.
    Its a load of Bollocks, it cannot build corners, Plumb-up jambs and reveals, set out openings……its just a one-trick show pony.

    Welcome to the future freak show…………….
    It cannot bed a D.P.C, nor fit insulation batts, nor wipe "snots" of the back of bricks and cannot do pointing.

    Its a load of sweaty dangly bollox.

  34. Robots and computers are fine but at at what point will the inventors realise that people need jobs more than machines , even some shitty jobs ,not everyone can be a doctor or wants to be one

  35. That machine has a long way to go before it's of any use. People are still lugging bricks and mortar around and it doesn't skim the seam or point it.

  36. Can't build a pier, gable end, work in tight spaces, put a lintel on, arch ways or a load of other things though can it. All good and well on a straight run with a world's supply of space and 10 people working on it. 2 in 1 bricklaying gang would out work that no end.

  37. As with most of the videos of automation I've watched recently (including driving), this looks like it can only supplement people, not supplant them.

  38. Can it build a corner or arch? Can it make or measure saw cuts there is a reason they still keep us masons around. If it was that easy my wife and kid would be doing it. Sam is a joke.

  39. really a poor solution compared to This is the really competitive solution for bricklayer shortage

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