Rugged showcases its layout-printing construction robots, According to TechCrunch Few, robotics categories are poised to profit more from the events of the past year than construction. It’s a booming field that would benefit massively from the automaton, a fact that’s only been amplified because the pandemic brought many nonessential businesses to a standstill. We’ve seen a variety of players within the category raise notable rounds over the past year approximately, including Toggle, Dusty, Scaled, and SkyMall.
Founded in 2018, Houston-based Rugged Robotics raised a $2.5 million seed round back in 2019. While the corporate isn’t actively raising at the instant, it’s already begun to roll out its technology in early pilots, including a partnership with Massachusetts-based construction firm Consigli.
“We had a client that was pretty progressive looking,” said Consigli’s Jack Moran. “It’s a building where we were controlling the core-shell of the project, also because of the fit-out, which was pretty complex — many odd shapes that might be a challenge for us.”
Rugged’s self-described “layout Roomba” was wont to help build a 10-story building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, effectively drawing blueprints on the bottom of the space that amounted to around 40,000 square feet per floor. The partnership effectively finds Rugged taking a key step from its early research and development mode to commercialize.
“The layout process is that the most vital task within the construction process,” Rugged founder and CEO Derrick Morse said in an interview with TechCrunch. “Marking where things are installed defines where things are built. an error made during layout trickles into the general construction process and it leads to rework, delays, and extra expenses.”
The team remains small, with a headcount of around six full-time employees, including co-founders with backgrounds at NASA and Samsung. The team currently has three robots, with plans to expand to 5. The print matrix ink patterns on the bottom offer construction teams a real-world orientation for the buildings they’re creating.
A member of the Rugged team travels to the location with the robot to supervise the robot because it executes its plans, with the startup charging the development company through a RaaS (Robotics as a Service) model.
“We have insatiable customer demand,” said Morse. “We have several multibillion-dollar contractors that are excited to try to pilots and demos with us. We’ll be growing the organization and fleet within the upcoming 12 months, and we’ll likely be bringing in additional capital to enable that growth.”