Built Robotics and rental-giant Sunstate Equipment formed the construction industry’s first partnership to rent autonomous equipment to contractors around the nation.
Built Robotics, founded in San Francisco in 2016, is among the first developers of autonomous equipment – including skid steers, compact track loaders, excavators, bulldozers – to offer a commercial product.
Sunstate Equipment, founded in Phoenix in 1977, operates 63 rental locations in ten southern and western states.
- Technology & Equipment: Built designs and manufactures a kit to upgrade off-the-shelf equipment of any brand to autonomous capability. The kit allows remote equipment operators to upload job files to an autonomous machine’s computer, at which point the equipment can complete the work on its own. Sunstate will strategically select equipment from its fleet to upgrade, and then make it available for customers.
- Safety & Training: Built and Sunstate will partner to ensure that customers’ personnel receive comprehensive training to run autonomous equipment safely and effectively. Every piece of autonomous equipment uses a three-layer safety system where: (1) sensors such as cameras and lidar (laser radar) sense and avoid pedestrians, vehicles and other obstacles; (2) the equipment’s work area is confined within a geofenced, designated zone; (3) equipment is outfitted with hardwired and wireless emergency stop buttons, enabling the remote equipment operator to stop the vehicles instantly at any time.
- Partnership Highlights: Sunstate is a trusted brand in equipment rental and is excited to offer cutting-edge technology to its customers. Built’s autonomous technology is a construction industry first, and offering it in partnership with Sunstate allows the company to move technology and remote equipment operator training into the field faster. The partnership is currently focused on identifying the initial set of equipment and rental locations, and Sunstate will begin offering Built-upgraded autonomous equipment to select customers in late 2019 or early 2020.
Key Stakeholder Quotes:
- Noah Ready-Campbell, CEO of Built Robotics: “Built is thrilled to partner with Sunstate to get our technology in the hands of more customers and remote equipment operators. Robotic equipment is a big change, but ultimately it will make construction safer, faster and more productive, and we believe that’s a win for everyone. By enabling customers to rent Built-upgraded equipment from Sunstate, we reduce the barrier to trying this technology out, and make it more approachable for contractors and operators around the country.”
- Chris Watts, CEO of Sunstate Equipment: “If there’s a new technology that makes our customers more productive, then it’s up to us to get it into our fleet. We believe Built’s autonomous upgrade kits have the potential to do just that, and we’re excited to partner with them to roll out this technology to our customers.”
- Tak Niki, General Manager - Silicon Valley Office, Sumitomo Corp. of Americas: “As technology strategic investor, we are constantly seeking game-changing applications of the latest technology, and as a diversified industrial corporation, our business groups feel the shortage of skilled construction labor firsthand. Built Robotics helps solves this pain point by leveraging truly impressive technology, and we’re thrilled to help accelerate their go-to-market by bringing them together with Sunstate Equipment, one of our most successful operating companies.”