Built Robotics develops automated pile driver for large-scale solar construction

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Robotics built, a construction autonomy company and inventor of Exosystem, has developed the RPD 35, a fully autonomous solar pile system. The RPD 35 is designed to install utility-scale solar foundations faster than traditional manual means.

A machine resembling a backhoe lifts the steel beams from the side ledges.

Built Robotics’ RPD 35 automatic piling robot.

Stacked at the heart of every utility-scale solar power project. Solar piles are typically steel H beams 12 to 16 feet long and weighing up to 200 pounds. A large solar farm would require tens of thousands of stakes, each of which he would drive eight feet or more into the ground and place with sub-inch accuracy. Together, these piles form the structural foundation of the solar array.

The RPD 35 combines all steps of the stakeout process (surveying, pile distribution, stakeout and inspection) in one package. With the RPD 35, with two workers he can install over 300 piles per day, meeting all the slope tolerances expected from the market. This is made possible by Built Robotics’ construction AI software working in concert with advanced sensors such as custom pile cartridge systems and RTK GPS.

Noah Ready-Campbell, Founder and CEO of Built Robotics, said: “Our piling robot dramatically improves the efficiency of field workers, which is critical in a chronically stressed construction labor market. And just as importantly, it keeps people out of harm’s way, To reduce noise exposure, strain, collision and entrapment hazards.”

Since 2018, Built’s robots have helped install over 2 GW of solar capacity nationwide, enough to power more than 400,000 homes. Built expects the first customer deployment of his RPD 35 in Q4 2023.

Built Robotics news article

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