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The brick-road-laying Tiger Stone

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November 15, 2010

The Tiger Stone laying a brick road

The Tiger Stone laying a brick road

Image Gallery (6 images)

Laying down paving bricks is back-breaking, time-consuming work... or at least, it is if you do it the usual way. Henk van Kuijk, director of Dutch industrial company Vanku, evidently decided that squatting/kneeling and shoving the bricks into place on the ground was just a little too slow, so he invented the Tiger Stone paving machine. The road-wide device is fed loose bricks, and lays them out onto the road as it slowly moves along. A quick going-over with a tamper, and you’ve got an instant brick road.

One to three human operators stand on the platform of the Tiger Stone, and move loose bricks by hand from its hopper to its sloping “pusher” slot – the bricks do have to be fed into the pusher in the desired finished pattern. From there, gravity causes them to slide together, in one road-wide sheet, down onto the sand.

A worker transferring bricks from the hopper to the pusher

The tread-tracked machine is electrically-powered, and has few moving parts, so noise and maintenance are kept to a minimum. It stays on course thanks to built-in sensors, which follow the curbs. According to Vanku, a machine with two operators can pave at least 300 square meters (3,229 sq.ft.) of road per day, whereas a single conventional paver on their hands and knees manages between 75 and 100.

The Tiger Stone is available in four, five and six-meter (13, 16 and 20-foot) widths, and costs from €60,000 to €80,000 (US$81,485 to $108,655). There’s no doubt that a lot of home-owners would like to see a much smaller version, that they could rent for creating garden paths and patios.

Via Gizmodo.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
33 Comments

That is what ingenuity and Gizmag is all about. Seems like it wouldn't go over well in Europe.

Oliver McFishcloud
15th November, 2010 @ 05:48 pm PST

This is genius!

Concrete is much better than asphalt, but hard to lay and a nightmare to repair.

Asphalt can be scrapped up and relayed quickly, that is why we in the US use it for almost all our roads.

But this could change that. With this machine laying a concrete paver road could be easier than laying an asphalt road. Repair would no longer be an issue since small crews could replace sections of paver as needed.

These machines could also be a first step. They could automate the process so bricks of differing colors could be loaded into bins and the machine itself could sort them. Very quickly......

I hope this is seen for what it is, a potential revolution in road making.

-Dennis

PrometheusGoneWild.com
15th November, 2010 @ 07:36 pm PST

A good idea, but perhaps not good enough. The issue as I see it is the manual feeding of the bricks. A magazine type continuous feed needs to be developed for this machine. This may require working with a brick supplier to come up with a workable magazine type stack. A continious feed could see a 10x or better increase in speed with far less breakage of bricks that would occur using this "dump in the hopper" approach. Good Inception though.

Terry Penrose
15th November, 2010 @ 08:16 pm PST

To Andrew: You see roads like this everywhere in The Netherlands. The inventor is obviously Dutch (as am I) and it is a brilliant idea to spare the backs of the workers, so why would it not go over well? These kinds of roads are easy to maintain. You do not get the usual pot holes and broken bricks are simply replaced. They are also good for the dispersal of rain which both runs off and is absorbed through the sand beneath. The textured surface is good for traction. Do not under-estimate the practical Dutch.

Pieter
15th November, 2010 @ 10:56 pm PST

will it lay Yellow Bricks?

mokkybear54
16th November, 2010 @ 12:48 am PST

This machine is screaming out for someone to invent fan-fold micro-perf bricks, ready to feed out of the box and lay on the road.

gadgetmind
16th November, 2010 @ 02:43 am PST

Seems brilliant..but;

A single conventional paver can do at least half this work as compared in the article to two operators - so if i am hiring two workers why would I also invest in the capital equipment?

I also notice that the edge bricks still need to be pre-cut. Is there a third worker not pictured?

I wonder if this is the first step toward the holy grail of brick-laying; a mobile brick sheet fabricator and laying machine that cuts the sheets into bricks as they exit the machine or in situ on the road.

I give this an A for idea but a D for value.

Gregorymerchant
16th November, 2010 @ 04:06 am PST

I think it is a bit mean to poo-poo an idea of such simplicity and ascetic value - it has great potential and I love it!

pATREUS
16th November, 2010 @ 05:10 am PST

""To Andrew: You see roads like this everywhere in The Netherlands. The inventor is obviously Dutch (as am I) and it is a brilliant idea to spare the backs of the workers, so why would it not go over well? These kinds of roads are easy to maintain. You do not get the usual pot holes and broken bricks are simply replaced. They are also good for the dispersal of rain which both runs off and is absorbed through the sand beneath. The textured surface is good for traction. Do not under-estimate the practical Dutch.

comment Pieter - November 15, 2010 @ 10:11 pm PST

Beste Pieter,

Having lived in The Netherlands for 10 years and still spending about 10 days per month there for my employer for the last 5 and 1/2. I am going to have to agree with you about the maintenance issues, relaying of cables, servicing sewer lines etc. These pavers make it very easy. However, I can not agree with you about traction. I've been on icy conditions on the pavers and on icy conditions on asphalt. Give me rough surface asphalt over the pavers in cold weather and I'm a happy man. I've slid around on those pavers and with the smallest amount of frost they become slippery.

I heb er meer dan 10 jaar in Nederland gewoond. En voor het laatste vijf en een half jaar ga ik heen en weer slingeren voor ongeveer 10 dagen per maand in Nederland. Ik ben er niet met je eens over die "Klinkers" die zijn lang niet zo goed in het sneeuw en ice. Verder zijn ze well heel goed. Excuses voor mijn Neder-Engels.

Nufsed

nufsed
16th November, 2010 @ 06:23 am PST

I wonder why there isn't a hopper to feed sand into a screed as a first step before the chute. Maybe it needs to be compacted first. I would load the bricks as palletized loads rather than knocking them over, then scooping, then dumping. BUT, very cool, very simple, I like it!

Bruce H. Anderson
16th November, 2010 @ 10:08 am PST

Dutch brick paver great idea. As a road bicyclist, I would question how smooth the surface is, though.

A smaller, garden sized paver 1 to 2 meters wide could be a really good investment for a landscaping company.

I wonder if you threw enough hot dough and melted cheese into the hopper, you could lay out the world's largest pizza.

You gotta love human creativity. Thanks Gizmag.

capn_jack@bellsouth.net
16th November, 2010 @ 12:25 pm PST

Where I live their is a small area downtown, a very old area, where their is a few blocks of cobblestone...its bumpy as hell. I guess this "tech" is good for parks and stuff, but not roads people drive on.

Howe
16th November, 2010 @ 03:36 pm PST

brilliant idea from which others will add their slant on pavers

robinyatesuk2003
16th November, 2010 @ 05:29 pm PST

This a great invention. i can only imagine at higher speeds these pavers eat up tires.

and to dennis concrete slab highways last 40years. Asphalt last 20 but costs half i dont think pavers can be use for highway speeds.

Facebook User
16th November, 2010 @ 11:21 pm PST

Fantastisch idee ! As an occupation health physician I can only applaud the benefits for the bricklayer community !!!

Too bad the machine only lays brick roads : bricks are too noisy and less bicycle-friendly, although perfect for driveways and parkways. My neighbourhood had the choice (the city council had suggested bricks) but opted for asphalt instead, even for 30 Km/h traffic.

I've been dreaming of an automatic asphalt-repairing machine for years... cleaning up an entire lane of damaged asphalt, grinding up the top layer, crunching and heating and re-mixing the rubble with fresh bitumen to the desired quality, and re-depositing, rollering and painting it all in one swoop during a nighly pass, without all the hassle of deviations for road works. Any chance such a commodity is in the works ?

Belgian's winter-damaged and traffic-jam-clogged highways and roads would be your first customers !

Fouture
17th November, 2010 @ 12:29 am PST

" HEY DOROTHY! STOP TAILGAITIN'. "

Facebook User
17th November, 2010 @ 02:11 am PST

Reconstitution of existing asphalt roadways -

http://angelobenedetti.com/how.html

Kelly Williams
17th November, 2010 @ 06:58 am PST

This reminds me of the documentary about Hitler's Autobahn, where an automated, standardized system was used to swiftly build roads like never before.

Knutars
17th November, 2010 @ 10:45 am PST

Hello All,

How about recycled or fresh ASPHALT Bricks, and then go over the layed Asphalt bricks again with a type of sealer Grout to seal, stabilize the Asphalt Bricks to keep them from shifting ! So now you have your rough desirable surface, and this sealer might help it stand up to heavy trucks, traffic and also keep freezing water - ice from between the Bricks, less concern of expansion - contraction breaking up the road during winter seasons. Snowplows shouldn't do as much damage either. thanks Mike

sunbrite1
18th November, 2010 @ 06:07 am PST

I can see how it works for perfectly straight constant width paving.

But how would it work for winding/curved and/or variable width paving???

graham.corley
19th November, 2010 @ 04:48 am PST

Wonderful Innovation Method.

Dr.a.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
24th November, 2010 @ 08:58 pm PST

Wait till the Union sees this.

Mark A
28th November, 2010 @ 09:06 pm PST

Has anyone thought, you can make your own machine?: a large sheet of 1" thick plywood, the width of your path X say 4ft, set on an angled frame made with 2" X 2" and set on rollers so you can pull it along, or tow with a vehicle. The weight of the bricks may actually assist in the movement, as they slide down the slope.

I like the comment from Dr. A (Mick) Jagadeesh

windykites1
30th November, 2010 @ 06:02 am PST

I see that it is being used in Europe, I am just surprised. I don't know about the Dutch, but in England (if you consider that Europe) they like to stick to doing things the tried and true way, it seems. I'm excited to see that there was enough interest to get it made, and I hope to see how it evolves - if it needs to at all that is.

Oliver McFishcloud
2nd December, 2010 @ 02:03 pm PST

Nice idea but I can't see how the bricks get into that hopper in the first place - is there a conveyor bringing them from the other (inlet) side of the machine?

Can see it now: computer controlled automatic version and adverts claiming "Write your loved one a message on a brick road for 100$" :-))

@graham.corley: I guess the operators just feed in bricks to suit what's being paved...

agulesin
15th December, 2010 @ 06:31 am PST

@agulesin - when I said "I can't see how the bricks get into that hopper" I hadn't seen the video as our company blocks streaming media. Sorry to appear thicker than I am!!

agulesin
16th January, 2011 @ 10:36 pm PST

The small spots around trees and stuff like that would still have to be done by hand. However, the large runs, this would save a lot of time. With lower and lower rates all the time it would never pay. That would be it downfall.

Gerard.

Mac Sharry Gerard
30th June, 2011 @ 09:17 am PDT

Uh, what about curving roads? Or slightly curving roads? Would the machine be of any benefit in those situations? Or no benefit at all?

Craigey
12th July, 2012 @ 09:40 am PDT

It requires preparation of the surface and area before sending this. But as mentioned earlier, the same technology could be used for high speed food preparation.

Dawar Saify
30th October, 2012 @ 03:56 pm PDT

Interesting, but i fail to see the advantages other than less strain on bricklayer's backs ..

In the article's own words , the machine needs up to 3 workers and can lay 300sq meters / day. .. whereas a normal person can lay up to 100 sq meters / day ..

which means zero benefit: as 3 manual labor workers can also place 300 sq meters / ..

Do correct me if i'm wrong!

tkj
30th April, 2013 @ 05:49 am PDT

A good idea, but perhaps not good enough. The issue as I see it is the manual feeding of the bricks. A magazine type continuous feed needs to be developed for this machine. This may require working with a brick supplier to come up with a workable magazine type stack. A continious feed could see a 10x or better increase in speed with far less breakage of bricks that would occur using this "dump in the hopper" approach. Good Inception though.

Terry Penrose

15th November, 2010 @ 08:16 pm PST

Well Terry it is 300% more efficient than the manual option

THE WATCHMAN
15th May, 2013 @ 05:14 am PDT

Wow, this machine is incredible. I was looking up interlocking pavers because I am looking to get a nice patio for my back yard. I wish they would use this for the roads instead of asphalt. Asphalt gets messed up to quickly, way to many pot holes. This is really a great machine and I hope to see it in the US soon.

Ashely Wilson
1st July, 2013 @ 05:20 am PDT

Man, this would be amazing for absolutely destroying someones front yard, just drive it up and lay down the chaos. For the extra touch you could make some beautifully explicit patterns...

TechHead
2nd July, 2013 @ 12:32 am PDT
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