Why Fastbrick’s Stock Shot Up 59% This Week

Automation is working its way into every industry. Banking, cars, and even construction companies are allowing machines to perform both menial and skilled work. In one fell swoop, this allows us humans to preoccupy ourselves with other tasks.

One of the leaders in construction automation is Fastbrick Robotics [ASX:FBR].

Their name gives it away, but FBR has developed a fully automated robot bricklayer. Imagine a bricklayer that will never take breaks, and never get tired. Well…this is exactly what FBR robots are designed to do.

Their latest development is the Hadrian X, named after Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman-built wall in the UK. The Hadrian X can lay 1,000 brick equivalents per hour. In contrast, the average bricklayer lies about 300–500 bricks per day.

So the Hadrian X can save time — and hopefully money — on construction projects. As you can imagine, there is a lot of hype surrounding Fastbrick Robotics. If their robot achieves commercial success, it could revolutionise the construction industry.

Investors have recently had the same feeling. FBR’s share price has climbed aggressively over the past week. Shares rose 59.2%, reaching a high of 7.8 cent per share.

Fastbrick Robotics share price

Source: Google Finance

What happened?

Apart from being involved in some very exciting tech, we believe it could have something to do with FBR’s recently released important announcements to the market. The first was their preliminary final report for the financial year 2016, released on 30 August.

The company generated 31% more revenue than last year, totalling $298,000. While Fastbrick Robotics did end the period with a loss, they achieved many milestones along the way. It’s arguable that revenue is not FBR’s main concern at this stage.

Instead, the development and construction of their Hadrian X robot is far more important. In March this year, FBR demonstrated how their automation technology builds from start to finish.

Then, in April, FBR demonstrated their bricklaying robot building a full scale brick room. If you haven’t seen a time lapse video of their demonstration, I highly suggest you watch it.

You can view the video on FBR’s home page, or by clicking here.

Completion of the Hadrian X robot is FBR’s focus for FY17. Once built, FBR can then target commercial acceleration for the Hadrian X. Marketing the Hadrian X has already started, and is aimed at potential domestic, European or US manufacturers and distributors.

This morning, FBR announced yet another milestone for the Hadrian X. It signed a framework agreement with Perth-based builders Archistruct Builders & Designers.

As part of the agreement, both companies will collaborate to build 11 homes. These homes will be the world’s first 3D printed brick homes built using the Hadrian X prototype.

Each house will have a minimum floor plan of 180m2 and consist of at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Could this be the way we build our houses in the future? It’s a likely possibility. Companies across the globe are experimenting with automated construction. Removing the human element could radically reduce construction costs, while increasing speed and safety.

Härje Ronngard,

Junior Analyst, Money Morning

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