Built Robotics had just announced its successful round of series B funding this month, raising a total of $33 million. The company will be using the funding to expand its business of making autonomous construction equipment.
Autonomous vehicle technology is currently at the heart of many of today’s latest electric vehicles. However, many people have most likely already imagined the technology branching out into many different types of vehicles. This includes, of course, construction equipment, though there is a more distinct concern over safety due to how much larger and much more powerful these machines are.
Built Robotics’ design philosophy centers on enhancement. Namely, the development of autonomous construction equipment by upgrading industrial machines that are already available for use by humans. The company takes a bulldozer for example, and enables to be a sort of smart assistant to the construction crew on-site.
If you’ve freaked out seeing a Tesla drive on its own for the first time, it may be surreal to see tractors and cranes visibly operating without anyone on board. No need to fret though, as Built Robotics certifies that these modified machines are safe to use for simpler and repetitive tasks, leaving most of the work that requires professional skill to the human laborers.
Intriguingly, the modified smart construction equipment made by the company has a distinct focus on using cameras to assess its surroundings. Of course, it has the usual navigation package of LIDAR, GPS, and Wi-Fi, but this camera-centric navigation setup is also quite reminiscent of what Tesla is currently going for with its autopilot systems.
Built Robotics was founded in 2016. Roughly a year after, it was able to secure its very first round of funding, adding $15 million to its investment. The current $33 million funding is headed by Nex47, which is the investment subsidiary of Siemens, followed by the Founders Fund, Presidio Ventures, Lemnos and NEA.