Roofing may not appear to be a glamorous job, as it undeniably meets the criteria of dull, dirty and dangerous. As it is one of the most dangerous endeavors in construction, numerous roboticists who are looking for projects to pursue can explore modern ways of doing the job which is so essential to the many people who want to own a roof.
Renovate Robotics has raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding, led by Alley Robotics Ventures and including HaX, Newlab, Uphonest Capital and Climate Capital, to build systems designed specifically to fit asphalt and solar shingles.
Abe Murray, Managing Partner at Alley, expressed that they are enthusiastic in supporting entrepreneurial founders that concentrate on resolving pressing issues. Furthermore, Murray stated that Renovate’s idea will significantly decrease the risks associated with roofing and, in the long run, enable a way for the extensive application of solar shingles.
Dylan Crow, an associate/analyst of HAX, interestingly went from venture capital to being the Chief Operating Officer of Renovate.
I have worked with many hard tech start-ups from within SOSV and the projects which I found the most inspirational were those concerned with climate change. They all possess the potential to be disruptive, and the same holds true for Renovate Robotics. I have huge faith in my co-founder Andy’s capabilities as an engineer and leader, enabling us to reach our market goals. I have a strong intuition that the connection between us is extraordinary, and I am extremely confident about this leap.
Crow has now been acknowledged as an instigator of the business. Andy Stulc, the original associate founding father, has a background in mechanics and boasts a dozen years of involvement in robotics connected to Renovate.
The company has developed a robot that operates on a winch-based system. This robotic system is attached to a roof and is capable of navigating in a pattern similar to that of a gantry, laying shingle tiles as it moves. Renovate is looking into a multitude of ways to make money out of this technology, while improving the system continually.
Crow explained that they will begin by working with roofing contractors and assisting them as one of their subcontractors. This practice is quite typical in the construction industry with contractors assigning jobs to other subcontractors. In the future however, they will transition to a RaaS (robot as a service) model, in which they will rent the robots to contractors who will then be able to manage them onsite.
A human operator must oversee developments and replace shingles with the current system. Crow mentioned there will always be some employees onsite for preparation, oversight, and reloading materials. It is not in their plans for remote supervision presently. They will collect and save any data that can then be incorporated into other sets of characteristics (e.g. installation verification for insurance companies).