Built Robotics Turns Excavators into Robotic Trenchers – What’s Next? (Video)

Updated May 24, 2022

In this episode of The Dirt, we focus on Built Robotics, which has developed an aftermarket device that automates excavators to perform trenching duties. The company’s Exosystem can convert any excavator to a remote-controlled, autonomous trench digger. And it can be installed in just one day.

Even with robotics, however, humans are still needed, so operators worried about robots taking over their jobs can rest assured. “Robots are just a tool,” says Built Robotics director of communications Erol Ahmed. “It’s up to people to figure out how to use them.”

Using the Exosystem requires operators to undergo training on its remote-control operation. Ahmed says contractors have seen a 20% to 30% savings by using it.

We’re still a long way off from artificial intelligence, or AI, taking over the jobsite. But advances in the next 10 to 15 years are likely to help contractors address the worker shortage as certain repetitive tasks become automated.

For now, Built Robotics is focusing strictly on excavators and trenching. In time it plans to spread to other machines and to routine, repetitive tasks that could be easily automated.

So for a more in-depth look at Built Robotics’ excavator automation technology and where the company sees the future of construction equipment AI, check out this week’s episode of The Dirt with host Byran Furnace, who is a part-time equipment operator.

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