Built Robotics is using its own technology to build its headquarters in San Francisco.
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The company has created a sensor system that is capable of transforming heavy equipment into autonomous machines. This month, Built Robotics released a video of an autonomous track loader (ATL) clearing a construction site.

The company is the creation of Noah Ready-Campbell, a former Google employee who sold his first company to eBay in 2015.  As well, his father was a general contractor.

"I remembered driving through my hometown and seeing my dad point out houses he'd built, shops he'd worked on, even a small theatre he helped renovate," Ready-Campbell said.

"He had literally built the community he lived in, and the things he made will still be used by people in a hundred years. If I was looking for meaning, this was it."

The sensors, along with its accompanying software, allows a supervisor to use an iPad to set a site perimeter and input the project plans to dictate what tasks and where the machine will complete.

"Over the coming months, we will push forward on our R&D roadmap and begin to deploy our robots at scale. And over the next few years, I believe our autonomous equipment will play a key role in helping make construction safer, faster and more affordable."

The hardware uses the same sensors that are found on self-driving cars. However, the sensors are installed into "off-the-shelf, time-tested" heavy equipment. The autonomous software is then designed for the specific construction requirements.

"And because heavy equipment moves slowly and construction projects are already controlled-access sites, we could safely deploy the technology years before self-driving cars hit the road," Ready-Campbell said.

Throughout the last two years, Built Robotics recruited a team of engineers, roboticists and construction experts to build the ATL, which is named Mary Anne, a reference to the children's book Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.

Now, the company has raised $15 million in funding, through the venture capital firm NEA, to get the technology to market. The company is also looking for distributors in Australia.

"Building Mary Anne, our first ATL, is just the first step; in an $8 trillion global construction industry, there will be many, many more," Ready-Campbell said.