Construction Robots

New Construction Robot can lay 3,000 bricks a day.

Construction work is notoriously difficult to automate because of the complex and customized work individual projects require. But a New York based start-up have developed a masonry robot which can lay bricks six times faster than a human.

The Semi-Automated Mason 100 (SAM) robot is an invention which is currently being field-tested.

A testimonial on the company website advises “SAM100 is a bricklaying robot for onsite masonry construction. Designed to work with the mason, SAM assists with the repetitive and strenuous task of lifting and placing each brick. The mason will continue to own the site setup and control final wall quality, but will improve efficiency through the operation of SAM”

At an estimated cost of $500,000, SAM isn’t cheap, but it’s a potentially transformative tool which could revolutionize future construction sites and is probably a sign of things to come for large scale projects.

At present, SAM’s human partner is required to smooth over the concrete before SAM places more bricks. While some people are going to be concerned that robots like this will largely replace humans on construction sites, if robots can do the backbreaking heavy lifting and leave people to do other jobs, that could work out best for all involved.

“We don’t see construction sites being fully automated for decades, if not centuries,” a company spokesperson said. “This is about collaboration between human workers and machines. What SAM does is to pick up the bricks, put mortar on them, and puts it on the wall. It still requires a mason to work alongside it. SAM’s just there to do the heavy lifting.”

Whilst SAM is no substitute for traditional craftsmen on smaller projects like family homes and renovations, there are obvious practical benefits for construction projects like apartment blocks, commercial and public buildings like schools, universities and hospitals.


OARCON are a full service Contracting & Property Development team based in San Francisco, CA.