Machines Conference

Date & Time

Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 7:30 am - 4:00 pm


Chicago, IL

The Event Exploring the Evolution of Tools, Equipment, and Machinery. From Fabrication to the Field.

Emerging technology is allowing us to do things we never imagined with our tools, equipment, gear, and machines.


Think about the widespread equipment changes across the industry:  

  • Tracking devices and sensors are now being deployed on machinery and are monitoring performance and safety
  • Engineers have made traditionally manual tools completely autonomous
  • Designers are developing modular construction techniques that make it possible to build massive sections of buildings in a factory and then transport them to be assembled on site


For an industry that has adopted technology at a snail’s pace. these are significant changes and it’s clear there’s opportunity to capitalize on.

Who are the machines players you need to know about? What emerging technologies are making the most noise? How can you leverage these technologies to cut time and costs? How are big corporate players like Caterpillar, DeWalt, and others responding?

At the Machines Conference, we’ll explore the deeper trends and technologies that are creating smarter tools, equipment, gear, machinery, and components for designers and builders.  


Modularization and Robotics Research Briefs

In the weeks leading up to the event, we’ll be releasing our two Research Briefs in partnership with FMI Consulting, covering 1) The State of Modularization and 2) Robotics in Construction, which will focus on the emerging companies, investment trends, and supporting data in each topic.

*Want to sponsor this event? Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
**We have a limited number of press passes available. Submit a request for one if you’d like to cover this event


7:00 am – 7:50 am


7:50 am – 8:20 am

Speed Networking

The difference between a typical industry event and a BuiltWorlds event? The quality of the people in the room. Speed networking is our way of connecting you with the other influencer’s in the room. We’ll show you the rules once you arrive!

8:20 am – 8:30 am

Opening Remarks

Matt Gray, Co-Founder, BuiltWorlds

8:30 am – 9:00 am

Opening Talk

From the shop to the field, automation, robotics, and modularization are changing how the built environment is constructed and maintained.  Many of the innovations that are currently being deployed within construction are deeply influenced by ajacent industries that are considerably further along the adoption curve.  During this opening talk, we will explore some of these broader trends and how they are affecting the built environment.

9:00 am – 9:40 am

Demolition, Site Work, and Drones

As sensors attached to demolition and site work equipment become increasingly common, these pieces of machinery are connected, their performance can be analyzed, and they can be tracked in real time as part of a broader project management strategy.  During this panel, we will explore how the demolition process is being planned, how earth is being surveyed by drones and manipulated by heavy machinery, and the new roles that autonomous devices are playing in the process.

9:40 am – 10:10 am

Road Work, Trucking, and Heavy Equipment

The increasing use of modular construction techniques is redefining the way that materials arrive on jobsites.  Engineers are responding by designed new types of equipment to meet the changing demands.  During this panel, we will explore this trend and looks at the risks, safety protocols, integration of new technology, and rewards that are involved.

10:10 am – 10:25 am

Break and Networking

10:25 am – 11:00 am

Utilities, MEP, and Tools

Homayoon Kazerooni, Director, Berkeley Robotics & Human Engineering Laboratory

A wide range of new tools are available throughout the construction process.  These tools range from connected power tools that monitor safety to exoskeletons and robotic bricklayers that can assist in various aspects of the construction process.  During this panel, we will meet some of the people who are developing the next generation of tools as well as how contractors are using these tools during the fabrication process both in the shop and in the field.  In doing so, we will explore how installation strategies are changing, how the process is being monitored, the role that BIM plays in the fabrication process, and how the work in maintained once installation occurs.

11:00 am – 11:35 am

Steel Erection

Repetitive tasks requiring a high degree of precision are ideal tasks to be executed by robotic devices.  Manufacturing has long utilized robotic welders to ensure an extremely high standard.  The construction industry, however, is only just beginning to adopt the technology.  In addition, other tools such as AR and VR are helping workers visualize the installation process prior to arriving on site.  During this process, we will explore how the steel industry is adapting some of these new tools and methods.

11:35 am – 12:00 am

Breakout and Networking

During this facilitated breakout session, we will ask audience members to share their preconceptions about the next generation of buildings and how those are aligned with or have changed as a result of through the morning presentations.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


1:00 am – 1:35 pm


Aaron Holm, Founder and CEO, Blokable
Kaleb Steinhauer, Co-Founder and CEO, Genesis Dimensions

Modular units have played an essential role in the history of modern architecture.  For decades, large portions  of homes have been fabricated in factories, huge sections of oil and gas rigs have been built in factories and shipped around the world, and extensive units of bridges and other infrastructure have been built in factories.  At technology improves and consumer trends change, modularization and prefabrication is becoming increasingly common.  The result has huge implications for cost, safety, and quality?  During this panel, we will explore the types of projects that are most conducive to modular construction and how far we are in the adoption process.

1:35 pm – 2:10 pm


During this panel, we will explore the new technologies being used in lift planning.  We will also look at the new pieces of safety equipment being added to cranes, how new construction techniques such as modularization are affecting the types of cranes that we need, and the extent to which we need bigger cranes capable of lifting larger loads to accommodate prefabricated elements.

2:10 pm – 2:45 pm

Concrete and 3D printing

Michael Case, Director, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
Wiener Mondesir, CTO, Arevo Labs

Innovations occurring in 3D printing and additive manufacturing are some of the most exciting new developments for the construction industry.  Previous innovations in CNC milling and advanced fabrication have resulted in a wide range of new ways of building and expanded what designers can do through mass customization.  Innovations in concrete and 3D printing promise a similar paradigm shift.  During this panel, we will explore where the technology is being applied, what are the cost and time saving implications, and how these techniques affect the amount of material consumed and overall waste.

2:45 pm – 2:50 pm


2:50 pm – 3:25 pm

Building enclosure/walls/roofs and Building With Robots

Yaron J. Schwarcz, Tridom Labs, Founder and CEO

During this panel, we will explore new robot-driven method of fabricating building enclosures as well as new technologies for maintaining those enclosures.  In doing so, we will explore how these developments have broader implications for the construction industry as a whole.

3:25 pm – 4:00 pm

Integrating Data From Machines

JP Giometti, Digital Transformation, IoT, and Growth & Innovation Leader, HCSS

As the tools and equipment that we use to construct the built environment becomes more intelligent, it becomes increasingly important to understand how the parts relate to each other and how they fit within a broader project management process.  During this discuss, we will explore the way in which HCSS is connecting devices, tracking equipment and the supply chain, and supporting the management of construction projects more broadly.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Networking and Reception



Yaron Schwarcz

CEO, Tridom Robotics

Aaron Holm

Founder & CEO, Blokable

Kaleb Steinhauer

Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, Genesis Dimensions

Michael Case

Director, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory

Homayoon Kazerooni

Director, Berkeley Robotics & Human Engineering Laboratory

Wiener Mondesir

Co-Founder, Arevo Labs

Paul Ross

VP Marketing, Kespry


Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.


*students must present a valid student ID at check-in