One of the most remarkable things about construction robotics is the scope of tasks that can potentially be automated. As I noted before, the whole category is a prime target for robotics startups, given that it ticks all the big Ds of automation – boring, dirty, and (quite often) dangerous. It’s also one of those areas that has become increasingly difficult to staff, post-pandemic, even as construction work has picked up in full force.
So if I’m running a pretty successful business making construction robots, I’m definitely thinking about diversification. The quickest way to get started is, of course, to acquire another, smaller startup. It’s something I suspect we’ll see with increasing regularity as start-ups struggle to secure funding to stay afloat in a vastly stagnant venture capital market.
Built Robotics, currently best known for its autonomous heavy earth-digging machine, Exosystem, today announced that it has acquired Roin Technologies (putting some of that fundraising to good use). The smaller company is backed by YC and best known for its concrete robots, which float and pull (throwing) the material. In fact, Roin’s URL already redirects to its parent company.
“Since its founding, the Roin team has pushed the boundaries of building autonomy, which has created unique expertise in our industry,” said Noah Ready-Campbell, founder and CEO of Built Robotics, in a communicated. “With Roin joining Built, the combined teams will continue to develop new autonomous construction applications and customers can expect to see robotic applications expand beyond earthmoving.”
Roin CEO Jim Delaney will join Built on the engineering team. He notes, “We see joining Built as the next step in Roin’s story. I’ve always admired what Built pioneered and how they moved the construction industry forward by embracing new technologies, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join their team.
This is not one of those cases of individual technology acquisition. Rather than being competitors, it seems that the two building systems could potentially be complementary, representing two separate pieces of the larger building puzzle.