Robotic piling machine faster than manual versions, says US startup



Built Robotics says its RPD 35 autonomous robotic piling system is three to five times faster than manual piling platforms.

Built Robotics has released the RPD 35, a fully autonomous robotic piling machine that combines surveying, pile distribution, piling and inspection. The company claims it is a world first and can deploy utility-scale solar foundations up to five times faster than conventional installation methods.

Built Robotics says the RPD 35 can install an estimated 300 piles per day with a two-person crew, a significant efficiency improvement over the 100 units it typically installs per day.

The RPD 35 adds four components to the standard excavator, which together facilitate the autonomous piling process. The steel arms extend from both sides of the excavator and support two baskets that hold a total of almost 200 piles. A custom-designed hammer assembly located at the end of the excavator arm drives the piles into the ground, striking the piles up to 500 times per minute with 4,000 pounds of force per foot. The unit can lift one pile in an average of 73 seconds.

Exosystem (CPU) controls the entire operation and drives piles with an accuracy of less than a centimeter. A liquid-cooled Intel Xeon computer processor and Nvidia graphics processing units run the Exosystem vision system.

The computer is designed for shock and vibration resistance and strong protection against water and dust ingress, despite the fact that it is mounted outside the excavator and potentially exposed to harsh construction site conditions. Built Robotics’ website indicates that the Exosystem computer is compatible with most mid-sized late model excavators ranging from 15 to 50 tons.

The company says that it has participated in more than 2 GW of solar power installations since 2018. The first RPD 35 units are scheduled to be commissioned in the last quarter of 2023.

David is a passionate writer and researcher who specializes in solar energy. He has a strong background in engineering and environmental science, which gives him a deep understanding of the science behind solar power and its benefits. David writes about the latest developments in solar technology and provides practical advice for homeowners and businesses who are interested in switching to solar.

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