Weather conditions: Late shower, possible morning storm, max of 28oc, winds southeasterly 15 to 20 km/h shifting west to southwesterly 20 to 30 km/h during the afternoon and evening.

First blocks down, product development progress and building a world class team


Dear all,

As luck would have it, it's my turn to blog and I'm fortunate enough to be able to tell you that last week, for the first time ever, we built a small structure outside on our test slab. The two-course 'F' structure might not look overly impressive to the untrained eye, but to us it's extremely important. The structure comprises every single block configuration and combination required for the build of a full home structure, but takes less than 5% of the time to complete. This allows us to tune and retest multiple times throughout a single day and in different weather conditions rather than over weeks, giving us a great opportunity to learn and optimise the Hadrian X at an accelerated rate. Over the next few weeks the team will be busy moving to larger structures that repeat more of the same operations to those achieved already with the F structure but over larger ranges of movement and area.

Conditions for this particular day of testing were good – ambient temps around 33 and temps at the slab in the mid to high 40s, with a gentle breeze and the occasional gust. Going by the current forecast, this week will offer us a better opportunity to test out DST in higher winds which will again give us some feedback on where we can refine and improve. To run a thorough testing program, we need to push our Hadrians to their limits to understand the boundaries of performance, and that means at times we will break or find faults with our robots. When we do this we root cause the failure, we learn, we fix, then we repeat the test to close the loop. This results in improved performance, and gives us the ability to speed up product maturity and robustness. We need to get both Hadrian Xs battle hardened before we send them out to residential sites to build homes, and we are fortunate enough to have a good testing environment in the yard at our headquarters where we can do exactly that.

Whilst speed, accuracy and waste reduction will provide the desired commercial outcomes to any customer, the safety and reliability of the machines over the course of their service lives will ensure the ongoing viability of FBR and its service across the globe. For context, in the automotive industry many prototype vehicles are assembled and tested before being put into full production to ensure they are suitable for release. While we're taking a slightly different approach in limiting our initial testing to two prototypes before we get the first ones on the road, we are employing a similar methodology and mentality of continuous improvement to make sure once our Hadrian Xs are in the field, they're a strong indication of what FBR is capable of.

Finally I wanted to touch on the growth we've experienced in the FBR team. Over the course of the last 12 months we have not only built and tested machines for the first time, but we have laid the foundations of FBR's next evolution as a business. We have assembled a team of people that are global leaders in their fields and have the expertise to help take FBR to the next stage in its development. In expanding our already outstanding team, we have made appointments in the fields of product design, product manufacture and assembly, intellectual property protection, testing and validation, construction and building technology, software development, architecture and a broad range of corporate capabilities that will allow us to build a globally recognised brand. Our team are all here for the same purpose – to unleash human potential and redefine possibilities through dynamic innovation.

Mark Sheridan
Chief Operating Officer
FBR Limited