D.C.’s first brick-laying robot in action
SAM100 makes its debut in D.C.
By Emily Mekinc
The construction of a new high school at The Lab School may look pretty typical — until you meet the most unique worker on the site.
SAM100, which stands for semi-automated mason, is increasing productivity for Clark Construction Group LLC as the world's first commercially available robot used for on-site brick placement. Clark began work in November 2014 on a 29,000-square-foot high school in the Palisades neighborhood for The Lab School, and was joined by SAM about a week ago.
Construction Robotics, based out of Victor, New York, began developing technology for its patented robot about eight years ago. This is the first time SAM has worked in D.C.
Scott Peters, a co-founder of Construction Robotics, said a mason working with SAM can lay two to four times the amount of brick than they could working alone.
Is this another robot taking away manual labor jobs? Peters and Clark Construction officials said that's not the case.
"There's a mason who works alongside SAM, and there are laborers who support SAM," Peters says. "We don't see SAM as taking jobs away but helping the industry grow and be more successful and more profitable. In the same way that other large construction equipment has come into play."
Clark Superintendent Monique Holley, who works on The Lab School site, says SAM has increased morale. Clark expects to complete construction in the first quarter of 2016.
As students return to the school next week, Holley hopes to give tours to some students who want to see how SAM operates.
The Lab School is attempting to raise $10 million to finance the anticipated $26.6 million cost of improving facilities on campus. The high school alone is projected to cost $16.6 million, according to The Lab School.
About the Author
Emily Mekinc produces video and writes for the Washington Business Journal.
This article was originally published in the Washington Business Journal. This content has been republished with the permission of the publisher.