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Fastbrick Robotics, the maker of the one-armed robot bricklayer, has hired American Steve Pierz, a former senior executive at giant machinery maker Caterpillar, as chief innovation officer based in the US.

Mr Pierz worked at Caterpillar for 29 years with roles in engineering, product design and management, most recently as strategy and innovation manager at Caterpillar’s headquarters in Illinois.

He has been consulting for Perth-based Fastbrick for the last few months. He was responsible for a strategic collaboration agreement the company recently signed with Mexican builder GP Vivienda.

Caterpillar last year invested $US2 million ($2.6 million) in Fastbrick. Earlier this month Caterpillar and Fastbrick extended the term of a Memorandum of Understanding signed 12 months ago.

Caterpillar now has the option to buy $US10 million in shares at 24c until the end of January 2019.

“We are privileged to have secured the services of Mr Pierz to spearhead innovation at FBR,” says Fastbrick CEO Mike Pivac.

“Steve is a high quality individual and will be a fantastic addition to the team, given his experience and his approach to innovation and continuous development.

“Further, the establishment of a permanent US office [in Peoria, Illinois] is a big milestone for our company, and I’m excited for the commercial and development opportunities that presence will bring to FBR.”

Pierz said: “FBR’s technology and drive to create change has excited me from the moment I was introduced to the company, and I am thrilled to be joining in a full time capacity.”

Fastbrick is currently testing a commercial version of its robot brickaying machine, Hadrian X, which will cost about $2 million when it goes into full production in 2019.

The Hadrian X requires minimal human interaction and works day and night, laying up to 1,000 bricks an hour — about the output of two human bricklayers for a day.

 

This article first appeared on Business Insider Australia, Australia’s most popular business news website. Read the original article. Follow Business Insider on Facebook or Twitter.