May 23, 2022

It’s been a little less than a year since we first saw Rugged Robotics. A Houston startup has developed a robot that prints building plans on the floors of construction sites so workers know where and where not to build. “Roomba Layout” as the company calls it. At that point in 2019, the company raised $2.5 million.

This, of course, was preceded by a major pandemic of accelerating automation that has occurred over the past two to three years. Now it seems that manufacturing is the main goal of robotics. Epidemics happen, people get sick, but construction never seems to stop. Rugged’s technology isn’t meant to replace people in the workplace, but to improve accuracy – but the company appears to be capitalizing on the increased interest.

image credit: Paul Valle / Strong

Today we are talking about a $9.4 million Series A funding round from Bold Capital Partners and Brick & Mortar Ventures, as well as Riott Ventures, Morpheus, Embark, Consegli Construction Company and Suffolk Technologies. In the latest round, the company’s total funding is currently around $12 million.

“We wanted to modernize the construction industry and create practical solutions that solve contractor pain points every day,” CEO Derrick Morse said in a press release. “We believe that furniture is the ideal starting point. Planning is the springboard for building automation. It sits at the intersection of the digital and physical worlds, solving a major problem and opening up the possibility of a very meaningful deployment of robotics in the workplace.”

The new round of funding will go towards accelerating the deployment of robots and hiring more staff. The startup recently launched Mason Marquee from Auris Health. The startup joins several other print shops, including Dusty, which raised $16.5 million in Series A last summer. Rugged says it wants to stand out with a “standalone solution” that requires minimal installation and allows multiple robots to work together.

The company is also building more autonomy. It notes: “As Rugged Robotics improves its end-to-end systems, the company plans to simplify implementation and eventually open up access to unmanned work.

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