Construction is one of the most likely robotics areas to reap the benefits of the last year's events. This is a growing field that could greatly benefit from automaton. This fact has been magnified by the pandemic that brought many non-essential businesses to a halt. Over the past year, we've seen many players in this category raise noteworthy rounds, including Toggle and Dusty, Scaled, and SkyMul.
Rugged Robotics, a Houston-based company that was founded in 2018, raised $2.5 million in a seed round in 2019. Although the company is not actively fundraising, it has begun rolling out its technology in pilots with Consigli, a Massachusetts-based construction firm.
Consiglis Jack Moran said that we had a client who was very progressive. We were responsible for the building's core shell, as well the fit-out. This was a complex project with many odd shapes that presented a challenge.
Rugged's self-described layout Roomba was used in the construction of a 10-story building at Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designed to draw blueprints on the ground. The space covered approximately 40,000 square feet. Rugged is now able to take a crucial step from its early research-development phase to commercialize through the partnership.
In a TechCrunch interview, Rugged CEO Derrick Morse stated that the layout is the most important part of the construction process. The location of things is determined by marking where they are placed. A mistake in layout can lead to delays, rework and additional costs.
Although the team is small, it has six full-time employees. This includes co-founders who have backgrounds from NASA and Samsung. The current team has three robots and plans to add five more. To give construction teams an actual-world orientation of the buildings they are creating, they print dot matrix ink patterns.
The Rugged team sends a member to the site to oversee the robot's execution of its plans. The startup charges the construction company via a RaaS model (robotics as services).
Morse said that there is an insatiable customer demand. There are several multibillion-dollar contractors who are eager to fly with us and do demos. In the next 12 months, we will be expanding the fleet and organization. We also plan to bring in capital to support that growth.