Mortenson Announces Partnership with Operator-less Equipment Maker Built Robotics

courtesy of Built Robotics

courtesy of Built Robotics

In 2017, Built Robotics made headlines as they debuted their self-driving track loader on a test construction site.  Earlier this month, the company announced a formal long-term partnership with construction giant Mortenson to deploy their machines on remote sites.

Announced at ENR FutureTech, the deal between Mortenson and Built Robotics is focused on providing earthmoving functions on renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms.  These types of projects tend to be in secluded area, outside of areas with an established workforce.  The jobs tend to have a lot of repetitive work, which can be ideal for autonomous vehicles at this stage in their development.

Mortenson and Built have worked with each other in the past on a Kansas wind farm in 2018.  According to an article on ENR, there’s an operator on the site that helps maintain the equipment, like re-fueling, greasing, and transporting.

GPS tracking helps keep the equipment within a programmed geo-fence and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology helps avoid collisions and other obstacles.

This summer, Built will begin training equipment operators and mechanics from Mortenson on their equipment.  The operators will learn to install kits, run the robots, and troubleshoot and diagnose issues. “High-quality training is critical for ensuring the safe and effective rollout of our technology,” Built said in their announcement.

As Mortenson told ENR, they are not looking at replacing their existing workforce with this equipment, but to help alleviate the continued workforce shortages they continue to face, especially on the remote jobsites.

You can check out video of Built Robotic’s equipment in action in the video below: