FBR shares spike on plans to build up to 5,000 homes in Mexico with robot bricklayer

FBR shares spike on plans to build up to 5,000 homes in Mexico with robot bricklayer

After years spent perfecting its robotic bricklaying technology, Perth-based FBR (ASX: FBR) has announced it will construct up to 5,000 homes in Mexico with its Hadrian X construction robot.

The news has seen the company’s shares spike, up 30 per cent at the time of writing, with investors finally witnessing the company emerge from its trial phase.

Under an agreement with GP Vivienda, a developer of master-planned communities, FBR will supply Wall as a Service (WaaS) technology for between 2,000 and 5,000 homes in Mexico, built by its robotic bricklayer Hadrian X.

FBR’s WaaS is the digitalisation of the old way of selling bricks and manual bricklaying separately and is sold at a fixed price to customers.

FBR supplies the blocks and robotically constructs walls onsite to the precise specification of a digital architectural plan. It allows customers and end users to directly access the benefits of robotic construction such as improvements in speed, accuracy safety and waste, without having to build robotics capability into their business.

“We are excited to have a term sheet in place to build our first homes in North America under competitive commercial terms,” FBR managing director and CEO Mike Pivac said.

“The volume of work contemplated under the term sheet will give us a great start from which to grow our business in North America, as there will be a strong pipeline of work to complete as soon as we deploy.”

The deal with GP Vivienda is the culmination of years of work done by FBR perfecting the Hadrian X robot.

Prior to today’s deal, the company has been conducting pilot programs in Australia, Germany and Mexico, during which it saw building speeds increase by 300 per cent, and proved the robot could construct two-storey buildings.

Shares are up 30 per cent at the time of writing to $0.052 per share. However, securities are still trading well below a historical peak of $0.27 per share in 2017 when investors initially clamoured to buy a slice of the promising robotics business.

The company's value dived particularly after losing two key joint venture deals in the space of 18 months, first with US machinery company Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) in December 2018, followed up by the dissolving of a JV with Brickworks Building Products due to COVID-19 uncertainty in June 2020.

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