Robotics startup turns construction equipment into autonomous robots

September 25, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Transforming construction equipment into autonomous robots
Autonomous construction equipment startup Built Robotics (San Francisco, CA) has announced that it has closed a $33 million Series B finding round to help scale its efforts in transforming construction equipment into autonomous robots.

The company, whose technology transforms existing construction equipment - including excavators, bulldozers, and skid steers — into fully autonomous robots, says it will use the capital to scale its fleet of autonomous robots, expand into new construction verticals, and develop tools to support the next generation of equipment operators.

"The shortage of qualified labor is an industry-wide challenge right now, and finding skilled workers is even more difficult on large-scale remote infrastructure projects," says said Noah Ready-Campbell, CEO of Built Robotics. "Our robotic equipment is able to shoulder some of the load by assisting with basic, repetitive tasks, freeing up human operators to focus on more complex activities."

The company's automated guidance systems can be installed on existing equipment from any manufacturer, while still maintaining complete manual operation capabilities. The upgraded equipment is then able to perform common tasks - such as digging trenches, excavating foundations, and grading building pads - fully autonomously. The autonomous fleet can be managed via a web-based platform, which allows remote equipment operators to supervise the robots.

The investment, says the company, comes on the heels of over $100 million in customer commitments for its autonomous construction solutions. The company's current fleet of robots has excavated 100,000 tons of material on projects such as wind farms, housing developments, and utility solar installations. In total, says the company, equipment that it has upgraded has operated for over 7,500 hours with a perfect safety record — equivalent to 350,000 miles of testing for self-driving cars.

The latest funding round was led by Next47, the global venture fund backed by Siemens, and the addition of T.J. Cylinder, partner at Next47, to its board of directors. Additional investors include Building Ventures and current Built Robotics backers such as Founders Fund, NEAL, Lemons, and Presidio Ventures.

Built Robotics

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