Jul 6, 2017 | By Benedict
Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian construction company that has built a bricklaying 3D printing robot, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with construction giant Caterpillar. The two companies will work together to develop Fastbrick’s robotic bricklaying technology.
Whether you want to call it a 3D printer or not—Fastbrick Technologies does, purists probably won’t—there’s no denying that a powerful bricklaying robot has huge potential in the construction industry. And that’s why construction giant Caterpillar has been so keen to get on board with Fastbrick, the Australian company whose 3D printing bricklaying robot can purportedly build a house four times faster than a human bricklayer.
In a press release put out on Monday, Caterpillar announced the MoU between the two companies, a deal that will see the pair discuss and develop a “potential framework for collaboration regarding the development, manufacturing, sales, and services of Fastbrick Robotics’ robotic bricklaying technology.”
This bricklaying technology, which has been dubbed “FBR Technology,” uses CAD instructions and a laser guidance system to precisely deposit bricks at speed. An adhesive glue is used to connect the bricks, rather than a traditional mortar. Fastbrick is currently working on the “Hadrian X” robot, a commercial bricklaying robot that could “transform the construction industry.”
The newly announced MoU establishes what Caterpillar calls a “strategic alliance board,” consisting of representatives from both companies. This board will figure out how best to offer “FBR Technology” to Caterpillar’s construction customers. It will also devise individual strategies for specific countries, states, and regions.
According to the press release, the MoU will last 12 months, with the option to extend or terminate at any time. During the MoU, Fastbrick will only work with Caterpillar on the bricklaying technology.
Given the disparity in size between the two companies, it’s no surprise that Caterpillar will also be investing money in Fastbrick. $2 million is being invested now via a placement, which is being undertaken in accordance with the terms of a placement agreement. As part of this agreement, Fastbrick will issue fully paid ordinary shares to Caterpillar at an issue price of 0.10 AUD per share.
Caterpillar will have an option to invest a further $8 million in Fastbrick at an issue price of $0.20 AUD per share, with Fastbrick intending to seek that shareholder approval within 60 days.
“Fastbrick Robotics is delighted to sign a MOU with Caterpillar and welcomes the company as a new shareholder,” commented Mike Pivac, Fastbrick Robotics Managing Director. “Caterpillar is a globally recognized industry leader, and we look forward to collaborating with the company and uniting our teams to share ideas, pursue innovation, and explore opportunities to commercialize our unique technology.”
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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