RBR50 Spotlight: Renovate Robotics puts Rufus to work on roofs

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Organization: Renovate Robotics
Country: U.S.
Website: https://www.renovaterobotics.com/
Year Founded: 2021
Number of Employees: 1-10
Innovation Class: Application

In the near future, robots could be a common sight on rooftops. Renovate Robotics is developing a robot to autonomously install both asphalt and solar roof shingles. The application opportunity includes both new home construction and refurbishment opportunities. Roofs typically need to be redone every 20 to 30 years.

rbr50 banner logo.In 2023, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company introduced its first product, named Rufus, as an automated roofing robot that installs traditional asphalt shingles at a rate three times faster than a human roofer. The robot is designed to reduce labor requirements by half, increase worker safety, and improve unit economics for roofing contractors.

With over 80 million single-family homes in the US. and over 1 million new homes built each year, the demand for roofing is increasing. There is also a shortage of skilled labor to safely install roofing materials. In addition, working on roofs a dangerous occupation.

The robot operates using a winch-based system. It is attached to the roof and travels in a gantry-like X and Y axis pattern, placing and securing shingles as it moves. Renovate is exploring various strategies to generate revenue from the technology, all while enhancing the system.

Renovate Robotics plans to initially operate as a subcontractor, using its technology to complete jobs with partner roofing contractors. Long term, the company expects to lease its machines to roofing contractors in a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model, allowing them to double productivity and improve unit economics.

Renovate Robotics secured pre-seed funding in a March 2023 round to develop the first working units, and it is planning to begin field trials in 2024. The company recently moved to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where is has a 3,000-sq.-ft. research and development facility and works with Newlab’s resources and network of startups.

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Explore the RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards 2024.

RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards 2024

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