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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

BotBuilt's Robotic Revolution for Affordable Homebuilding

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

The dream of owning a home is becoming increasingly elusive for many, with the median household income for home buyers jumping to $107,000 this year, up from $88,000 last year.

Amidst this backdrop, a startup named BotBuilt is making waves with its innovative approach to homebuilding.

BotBuilt, founded in 2020 by Brent Wadas, Colin Devine, and robotics engineer Barrett Ames, is on a mission to revolutionise the construction industry. Their vision? A robotic system that can interpret a building plan, translate it into machine commands, and execute the construction process.

The inspiration behind this groundbreaking venture is deeply personal. As a graduate student at Duke, Ames purchased a fixer-upper near the campus. The ensuing renovation process offered him invaluable insights into the challenges and patterns of construction, ultimately sparking the idea for BotBuilt.

The company's system doesn't construct homes from scratch but focuses on a specific part of the homebuilding process: constructing framing. BotBuilt's robots assemble panels for walls, floor trusses, and roof trusses, key framing components of homes. This flexible system can be reprogrammed to build different frame designs for homes relatively quickly.

Image credits: BotBuilt

By automating this step, BotBuilt aims to significantly speed up the homebuilding process and reduce costs. Typically, house framing costs $7 to $16 per square foot, including $4 to $10 in framing labour costs. BotBuilt's system, which reportedly costs around $1 per hour to run, could offer substantial savings.

BotBuilt operates robot-equipped factories to produce framing for homebuilding customers, providing a solution to the labour shortages plaguing the construction industry. With over 55% of single-family homebuilders reporting a shortage of skilled labour in 2021, BotBuilt's approach could be a game-changer.

Despite competition from other robotics homebuilding companies like Randek, Weinmann, and House of Design, BotBuilt is optimistic about its future. With nine homes built so far and revenue around $75,000, the company plans to ramp up operations in 2024.

To facilitate this growth, BotBuilt has raised $12.4 million in a seed funding round. The funds will be used to expand the Durham, North Carolina-based company's team and scale operations. With over 2,000 homes and apartment units in their pipeline, BotBuilt is poised to make a significant impact on the homebuilding industry.

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