June 15, 2021
Dusty Robotics, which develops robotics-powered tools for the construction industry, has announced raising $16.5 million in Series A funding, led by Canaan Partners. Dusty has now raised $23.7 million in total funding for its construction automation platform.
The company’s first product, FieldPrinter, is an autonomous robot that prints digital building models directly onto the floor of construction sites. FieldPrinter lays out floor plans up to 10 times faster than traditional crews, while guaranteeing accuracy up to 1/16th of an inch. The FieldPrinter helps eliminate errors during construction by printing IKEA-like instructions directly on the floor that instruct crews exactly what to build and where.
“The construction industry is in the midst of a digital transformation,” said Tessa Lau, founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics. “Most projects have adopted Building Information Modeling (BIM) to design buildings in full 3D, yet layout crews still use paper plans, measuring tape, and string to transfer those designs to the site for construction. We are creating a future where robots are standard tools used to construct every building, turning BIM into reality, and eliminating the errors that create waste.”
Dusty said its offering helps digitize layout, one of the most manual processes on a job site. By eliminating layout delays, errors, and rework, FieldPrinter helps crews keep projects on time and on budget, addressing an industry that relies on a complex web of skilled subcontractors to complete individual components of a project. Without digitization, approximately two-thirds of projects end up behind schedule and more than half go over budget, according to data from Dodge Data & Analytics.
“With increasing digital adoption in the full commercial real estate lifecycle, and especially the value created by using technology such as digital twins in the design and construction process, we believe now is the time for Dusty,” said Rich Boyle, general partner at Canaan. “The robotic layout process that Dusty created enables developers to be dramatically more efficient by reducing manual labor and elapsed time, and even more importantly by reducing errors and rework in the construction process. Both are reasons we believe Dusty has a big future and are thrilled to be leading its Series A.”
Dusty said its early customers of FieldPrinter include Swinerton, DPR Construction, Build Group, and Pankow Builders. Since its first rollout in fall 2020, the robot has laid out more than 1 million square feet of commercial construction, including several high-rise buildings in San Francisco.
“Through a R&D partnership with Dusty, we have successfully used FieldPrinter on building projects in Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and Leesburg, Va., and are excited about the possibilities of deploying FieldPrinter more widely,” said Bardo Ponce, operations manager at Swinerton, a commercial construction company involved in office, retail, multi-family residential, and other sectors. “Every project we bring Dusty to is seeing great strides in productivity and we look forward to every iteration of this robot and the positive impact it will have on our industry.”
In addition to Canaan Partners, the funding round included investments from NextGen Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Root Ventures, and Cantos Ventures. More details on the company’s offerings are available at the Dusty Robotics website.