Robot bricklayers to be deployed in Brexit Britain as developers grapple with skills shortage

UK News

Armies of robot bricklayers could be deployed in Brexit Britain as construction firms attempt to make up for the loss of skilled labour from mainland Europe, it has been claimed.

The UK’s construction sector is more receptive than any other in the world to the use of autonomous machines and drones, according to a new report.

Some 47 per cent of British firms predict that building site robots will bring change to the industry. That compares with just 34 per cent globally

Ian Wimpenny, director of the Altus Group real estate company, which carried out the research, said: “With EU net migration having fallen to its lowest level since 2012, and record employment, contractors are already struggling to fill vacancies and close skills gaps, so it’s unsurprising that UK developers are more open to disruptive technologies to keep Britain building post Brexit.”

Robots are already common in car manufacturing, and trials of robotic bricklayers on building sites are already underway.

Manufacturers claim robots can lay 3,000 bricks a day, compared with the typical 300-600 bricks for a human worker, said Mr Wimpenny. Drones, meanwhile, are used for surveying, inspections and progress monitoring.

Companies such as New York-based Construction Robotics and Australia’s Fastbrick are among the market leaders in new construction technology.

JCB, Volvo and Caterpillar are also developing autonomous construction vehicles.

The Altus research – the Real Estate Development Trends Report – surveyed some 400 major property developers across the globe, each with more than £200m of property under development.

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