Giant Autonomous Robot Outpaces Human Construction Crews by 3 to 5 Times

Giant Autonomous Robot Outpaces Human Construction Crews by 3 to 5 Times

Californian startup Built Robotics has just unveiled an incredible autonomous construction robot that is set to revolutionize the creation of large-scale solar farms. By speeding up construction processes, this impressive innovation is not only helping us transition to a cleaner energy future, but also prioritizing worker safety.

We all know that tackling climate change requires moving away from generating electricity from fossil fuels, which is a significant source of carbon emissions. As we continue to electrify our cars, machines and industries, there is a growing demand for more electricity. And this is where automation becomes useful in the construction world.

Building a large-scale solar farm is no small feat. This involves a long process of finding suitable locations and obtaining permits, which can take years. Even after that, building the solar farm itself can take time. Additionally, the falling cost of solar panels means that construction and labor expenses have become more important in the overall cost of solar energy. To continue to drive solar prices down, we need to find ways to increase productivity in these areas.

That’s where Built Robotics’ incredible creation, the RPD 35, comes in – this autonomous construction robot focuses on speeding up the installation of solar piles, which are crucial for building solar farms. These heavy steel beams, about 15 feet long, are sunk about eight feet into the ground to serve as the foundation for the solar array.

The RPD 35 robot revolutionizes this process by taking on the hard work. It can carry up to 200 stacks at a time, lifting them from an on-board basket and driving them into the ground at an astonishing rate of about one stack every 73 seconds. Using on-board GPS technology, the robot ensures precise placement with sub-inch accuracy.

Justin Russell, Built Field Operations Manager, explains: “Our software creates a sequence to place the piles. The baskets on board the excavator are loaded in a specific order that allows the piles to be placed exactly where they need to be. »

According to FreeThink, the impact of this breakthrough is enormous. Building a 250 MW solar park, which can power around 100,000 homes, often requires a considerable number of solar cells (up to 100,000, in fact). With Built Robotics’ construction robot, a team of two can install up to 300 piles per day, an incredible three to five times more efficient than traditional methods.

The RPD 35 from Built Robotics – the system enables the automation of the power driving process in the production of solar farms.

Noah Ready-Campbell, CEO of Built Roboticshighlights the advantages, indicating, “Our piling robots dramatically improve worker efficiency on construction sites, which is vital in the tough construction labor market. Equally important, they keep workers safe by reducing noise exposure, fatigue physics and the risk of accidents.

But the integrated robotics doesn’t stop there. In addition to automating pile driving, the company has also developed an automation system that can be integrated into commercial excavators used to dig underground cable trenches. This system is already available and they plan to roll out the RPD 35 to customers before the end of 2023. Built Robotics is committed to finding more ways to automate the monotonous and dangerous tasks on solar construction sites, as they believe firmly that automation is the future. of the construction industry.

Justin Russell highlights their long-term commitment, saying, “At Built, we’re here for the long haul. We are convinced that automation is the key to meeting the future demands of the construction world. It’s an exciting future that we are building together!

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