United Arab Emirates is known for resorting to robots in various aspects of public life, but it seems as though another Gulf country is joining in on the robot hype.
Al Arabiya reports that Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with an Australian tech company called Fastbrick Robotics to supply robots that would help build homes in the kingdom, as part of its mass-housing program.
Saudi Arabia plans to build some 1.5 million homes for its citizens by 2022, with the project estimated to cost over $100 billion.
To do this, the Saudi housing ministry has been striking deals abroad. Earlier this week, the ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) - a non-binding agreement that precedes the formal contract - with Fastbrick Robotics, which would provide about 100 home-building robots.
With their unique technology of automated brick-laying, Fastbrick Robotics' robots would help build at least 50,000 home units.
According to The West Australian, the company's shares soared by 43 percent after the deal was signed - which is yet to be formalized.
"Initial pricing discussions indicate a significant potential opportunity for the company," the company is quoted as stating.
If the parties follow through with the agreement, Saudi Arabia would become the first country in the world to use the company's Hadrian X robots, whose prototype has successfully built the walls of a test home within days.
Fastbrick Robotics' CEO, Mike Pivac, said the company's technology presents "a timely solution to Saudi Arabia’s housing supply problem, which is a problem shared by many other countries around the world".