Caterpillar is exploring how to offer a robotic bricklayer to its customers.
On July 2, the Australia-based Fastbrick Robotics announced it is entering a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Caterpillar. The MOU lays the groundwork to develop a “potential framework for collaboration” to develop, manufacture, sell and service its robotic bricklaying technology.
Alongside the signing of the MOU, Caterpillar, through a wholly owned subsidiary, invested USD$2 million in the robotics company.
Awaiting shareholder approval
In return, Fastbrick Robotics will issue fully paid shares to Caterpillar at an issue price of 0.10 AUD per share. Caterpillar will, subject to Fastbrick shareholder approval, have an option to invest a further USD$8 million.
“Fastbrick Robotics is delighted to sign a MOU with Caterpillar and welcomes the company as a new shareholder,” said Fastbrick Robotics Managing Director Mike Pivac.
“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.”
As well, the agreement creates a strategic alliance board with representatives from both companies. The board will tackle how to deliver the robotics technology to Caterpillar’s customers. They are also tasked with considering the most appropriate and profitable business models to apply in each country, state and region.
As well, the MOU has an initial one-year term, which is extendable if both companies agree.
About a year ago, Fastbrick announced construction of the commercial prototype of the Hadrian X robotic bricklayer. The truck-mounted robot is capable of laying up to 1,000 standards bricks per hour, via a 30 metre boom from a single position. Working day and night, the machine can construct a home in two days.
A few months after announcing the prototype, Fastbrick was named the overall winner of the Mitsubishi Corporation WA Innovator of the Year award.