Meet SAM – the brick laying robot at the UNR Arts Building project. SAM lays around 2,500 bricks- per-day (8 hour day) while a human mason averages around 500 bricks-per-day. The robot works on an electric scaffold that raises in 12-inch increments. It has a robotic arm that picks up the brick, puts grout around it, and lays it on the wall. Its precision is managed with a laser on each side of the scaffold.
Humans are still key to getting this work done – SAM takes on the heavy-duty work while the masonry crew manages the material loading and quality control. There are six workers on the scaffold loading the robot with bricks and grout. A crew leader keeps track of the progress using the robot’s app on an iPad. Another keeps an eye on the laser, and two workers follow the robot to straighten out any out-of-place bricks and smooth the troweling. The benefits of using SAM are increased production for the crew, faster installation, less scaffolding, safer work areas and better quality of installation.