Posted March 7, 2018

Who's the better bricklayer, a robot or a human?

SAM, a Semi-Automated Mason, couldn't stack up against the world's best humans.

The 16th annual Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 at the World Concrete not only crowned the World's Best Bricklayer, it reinforced the value of skilled and passionate masons despite competition from a robot named SAM (semi-automated mason).

The bricklayers work with ruthless efficiency, scraping and slathering mortar brick after brick, tamping each down to ensure everything is level. By the end of a single hour, with thousands of spectators watching, they have built a stretch of wall that would be a day’s work for a mason building at a normal pace.

“I’m on the edge of crazy when I’m laying brick,” said Matt Cash of Charlotte, N.C., a defending champion of the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500, the world’s largest competition of bricklayers.

For full play-by-play on the competition, read this New York Times article.