Minneapolis – Mortenson, a U.S.-based, top-20 builder, developer and leading renewable energy contractor, has announced a strategic partnership with Built Robotics, a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous robotic equipment technology. Mortenson’s partnership with Built Robotics will focus on heavy civil earthmoving activities on renewable energy projects that Mortenson is building in North America.
Mortenson and Built Robotics will work together to further develop Built Robotics’ suite of autonomous equipment in areas where it can be most useful. Wind and solar farms, which tend to be in remote areas far from traditional workforce centers, often cover hundreds of acres of land and require significant civil work during construction. The construction industry is facing a shortage of qualified labor and finding the skilled workers that large infrastructure projects require can prove difficult in such locations. Robotic equipment can help shoulder some of the load by assisting with basic, repetitive tasks, thereby freeing human operators to focus on other specific, complex, and critical work.
“Consistent with Mortenson’s history of ingenuity and innovation in construction, we are partnering with Built Robotics as they develop and deploy technology that enables autonomous heavy equipment operation,” said Eric Sellman, Vice President and General Manager of the Civil Group at Mortenson. “Mortenson and Built Robotics will work together with this technology on select renewable energy projects within our Wind and Solar groups,” he added. “Our goal is to embrace the change that is happening in our industry to help create safer working environments for our team members and value for our customers.”
Built Robotics builds robotic upgrade kits for common construction equipment such as bulldozers, excavators and skid steers. Combined with its proprietary software, Built Robotics designs autonomous equipment with multilayer safety systems to ensure 100 percent safe operation. Operating within a contractor pre-determined geofence, Built Robotics equipment utilizes augmented GPS, lidar and other sensors to function, and can be programmed to perform earthmoving work with precision and efficiency.
By utilizing robotic technology, Mortenson is looking to further limit risk of injuries or accidents by keeping more workers out of harm’s way. To get there, Built Robotics will begin training Mortenson equipment operators and mechanics on the new technology this summer. Managing autonomous equipment — including installing kits, running robots, and troubleshooting and diagnosing issues — will be a key skill set on job sites in the future, and high-quality training is critical for ensuring the safe and effective rollout of autonomous technology.
“Mortenson has been an incredible partner for Built, and through their expertise and innovative approach they have helped us accelerate our development of the world’s first autonomous construction equipment. We are proud of the work our robots have done on Mortenson jobs so far, and I can’t wait for what’s coming up next,” added Noah Ready-Campbell, Founder and CEO of Built Robotics.
About Built Robotics
Built Robotics develops automation technology to make construction safer, faster, and more productive. The company’s focus is the $1 trillion global earthmoving industry — things like clearing land, building roads, and digging foundations and trenches. Built Robotics is tackling this challenge by upgrading off-the-shelf heavy equipment to operate autonomously using lidar, GPS and other sensors.
Built Robotics is backed by some of the top investors in Silicon Valley, including NEA and Founders Fund, and has raised over $15 million to date. For additional information, visit www.builtrobotics.com.
Mortenson is a U.S.-based, top-20 builder, developer, and engineering services provider serving the commercial, institutional, and energy sectors. Mortenson’s expanding portfolio of integrated services helps its customers move their strategies forward, ensuring their investments result in high-performing assets. The result is a turnkey partner, fully invested in the business success of its customers.
Founded in 1954, Mortenson has operations across the U.S. with offices in Chicago, Denver, Fargo, Iowa City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. For additional information, visit www.mortenson.com.