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San Francisco-based Built Robotics has acquired Roin Technologies. Roin is a three-year-old engineering company that has designed and built several robotic concrete finishing solutions, including a shotcrete robot and a concrete trowling robot.
Built Robotics CEO and co-founder Noah Ready-Campbell said the acquisition is primarily an acqui-hire that will enable Built to accelerate its current roadmap of automated construction equipment. Roin co-founder and CEO Jim Delaney joined the Built engineering team along with the other engineers from Roin. Financial details of the acquisition were not released.
Solar is hot
Ready-Campbell said the solar utility infrastructure market is one of the hottest segments of the construction industry at the moment. He added that Built is well-positioned to help automate many of the construction processes here. “It’s emerged as a great use case for us, we did some material handling work with Mortenson a few years ago, and we’ve done a bunch of different trenching projects across a bunch of states all over the country and in Australia, too. And solar has come to the [forefront] as one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting, verticals in construction, today.”
One of the key reasons for Ready-Campbell’s bullish stance is that he believes the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed last summer in the U.S., will likely double the size of the American solar industry over the next five to 10 years. He said this is a perfect storm, where solar has already been growing fast, and now there is even more opportunity to build out the necessary utility infrastructure.
When asked if the company would ever release a commercial version of the shotcrete robot or the autonomous concrete trowling robot Roin has developed, Ready-Campbell said anything is possible in the future. He said both of these use cases qualify as “dull, dirty and dangerous.”
However, the short-term focus for Built is on the solar market. The company roadmap includes an extension to its current autonomous trenching robot, and Ready Campbell is saving the product details for later this spring.
Built is ready to expand its product line
Ready-Campbell did emphasize that the addition of Delaney and the Roin engineering staff will help accelerate the time-to-market for the existing roadmap. He had high praise for Dalaney’s skill at automating heavy equipment.
“Since their founding, Roin’s team has pushed the boundaries of construction autonomy, which has created a unique expertise in our industry,” said Ready-Campbell. “With Roin joining Built, the combined teams will continue developing new autonomous construction applications, and customers can expect to see robotic applications expanding beyond earthmoving.”
Built Robotics raised a $64 million Series C round in April 2022. In 2020, Built won an RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award for the IUOE partnership. The Built Exosystem can be rented as standalone units to be installed onto a customer’s existing fleet or customers can lease upgraded excavators from Built with the technology already built in.