Welcome to the 2019 Machines 50! The year’s list features innovative solutions advancing equipment, machinery, and tools at the frontier of the built environment. With emerging technology transforming construction in the shop and in the field, we want to bring attention to the companies that are pushing the boundaries of both product and process. Read on to learn all about how the world of construction machinery is evolving, from autonomous brick-laying robots to 3D printers, fleet management software, autonomous haulers and dozers, equipment rental marketplaces, and beyond. The list appears in alphabetical order by category type. Enjoy!
Our judges have voted and the results are in!
Check out the LEADERS and the DISRUPTORS below from each of the seven categories on the list: (1) 3D printing, (2) equipment tracking & fleet management, (3) field robotics, (4) equipment marketplaces, (5) modular builders, (6) prefabrication solutions, and (7) vehicles.
Machines 50 Judges
• Dan Klancnik, SVP, BE&K
• Terrence McNamara, Director of Technology Innovation, Teichert Construction
• Travis Voss, Technology Manager, Mechanical Inc.
• Marty Trainor, Vice President of Preconstruction, Ventana
• Tobias Hogan, Director of Agile Operations, Aldridge Group
• Eric Lindquist, CEO, Adjustable Forms
• Ernie Anderson, Equipment Manager, Graycor
• Daniel Levin, CEO, Cain Millwork
• Eyad Samad, Account Manager, Windward Roofing & Construction
• Gary Rabine, CEO, Rabine Group
• Hermann Schneider, President, X10 Consulting
• Eveart Foster, Technical Services Engineer, Pepper Construction
Apis Cor is the first company to develop specialized equipment for 3D printing in construction capable of printing entire buildings completely on site. Their mission is to create fully autonomous equipment that will be able to print on earth and beyond (check out their submission to NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Centennial Challenge!).
Branch Technology is an architectural fabricator specializing in large-scale 3D printing, bringing unprecedented design freedom and resource stewardship to the construction industry. They offer a patent-pending 3D printing process called C-FAB, allowing complex geometries to be constructed in open space, without the use of support materials or highly controlled build environments.
Genesis Dimensions is a research and development company creating a complete building solution that employs software-enabled large-scale 3D printing technologies and mechatronics onsite to transform construction. Along with their development of advanced materials, they aim to improve structural integrity, freedom of form, safety, and cost/time efficiencies in the building process.
ICON Vulcan II
ICON’s Vulcan II printer brings together the 3D printing robotics, software, and advanced materials capable of 3D printing entire communities with up to 2,000 square foot homes. Their technology can print a custom home quicker, with less waste, and at a lower cost than traditional home-building methods.
MX3D develops groundbreaking robotic additive manufacturing technology, creating new strategies and software solutions to print a large variety of metal alloys in virtually any size and shape. Serving markets from architecture and heavy industry to maritime and offshore, MX3D is leading the charge into automated and autonomous production of unique computer generated parts and structures.
Siemens has developed SiSpis, a line of robotic spiders equipped with a 3D printing arm as well as onboard cameras and a laser scanner to interpret their immediate environment. These autonomous roving printers are able to work collaboratively to cover complex geometries in an efficient manner.
EQUIPMENT TRACKING & FLEET MANAGEMENT
Busybusy has created a simple, easy to use mobile time tracking and equipment tracking solution for construction companies. Their platform provides access to important project data, helping builders save time, increase profitability, and eliminate the hassle of paper time cards.
Digital Fleet’s platform provides real-time location and navigation, dispatch and ticketing, and safety and performance tracking for the ready-mix concrete and construction materials industries. As a national leader in the space, they serve customers of all sizes and are passionate about continuing to lead the way in fleet management.
Doosan monitoring hardware collects machine data during every minute of operation. This information is uploaded automatically to the Doosan Connect online system using dual-mode communications – cellular and satellite – for maximum coverage. Using the online system, designated users manage your fleet, improve maintenance and enhance business productivity.
Einsite uses cameras and sensors to automatically capture real-time data from the jobsite, leveraging Computer Vision and AI algorithms to empower people in the field to boost their performance. This allows you to track daily performance metrics for productivity, efficiency, and safety, investigate causes of low performance, accidents and other incidents, and provides actionable insights that help dramatically improve performance.
RoviTracker allows companies and organizations to track a wide amount of data that can be used to save money, increase revenue, and improve worksite safety. Their asset tracking software takes GPS tracking to the next level by monitoring a wide variety of different data, rather than just location tracking.
ShareMyToolbox offers an intuitive tool inventory app that helps to avoid wasted time looking for tools and idle equipment on the jobsite, maintain the complete and up-to-date tool and equipment inventory and valuation reports, and stay on top of equipment maintenance schedules.
Tenna’s equipment tracking devices and asset software help you track and control the entire inventory you need to build projects and stay on schedule and budget. Tenna combines a variety of tracking technologies, mobile apps, and a cloud dashboard under one platform that can track assets, manage your vehicles, ensure driver safety and compliance, and schedule efficient maintenance.
Verizon Connect is an advanced GPS fleet-tracking software platform, providing a full 360-degree view of your fleet’s daily operations. Their platform helps builders know what is going on in the field so they can dispatch more efficiently, improve customer service, and reduce time spent calling drivers for updates.
Advanced Construction Robotics has developed TyBot, an autonomous rebar-tying robot that can augment and reduce labor need in the most critical path activity of bridge deck construction. TyBot can tie rebar intersections continuously, day or night, rain or shine, without breaks or injuries.
HRP-5P was developed as a humanoid robot capable of heavy labor as part of an AIST R&D platform for practical use of robotics assembling large structures. The robot is capable of autonomous behavior with improved robot intelligence, such as environmental measurement and object recognition, and comes equipped with a high-power body with a great number of degrees of freedom and a wide movable range for joints can handle large, heavy objects.
Boston Dynamics SpotMini
Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini is a small, all-electric four-legged robot, inheriting all of the mobility of its bigger brother, Spot while adding the ability to pick up and handle objects using its 5 degree-of-freedom arm and beefed up perception sensors. The sensor suite includes stereo cameras, depth cameras, an IMU, and position/force sensors in the limbs, and has vast potential applications in site monitoring and inspection.
Construction Robotics SAM100
Construction Robotics’ SAM100, or Semi-Automated Mason, is the first commercially available bricklaying robot for onsite masonry construction. Benefits of SAM include improved health and safety for construction workforce, improved ability to plan and quote jobs, better on-site productivity, and access to production data.
Endless Robotics WALT 1.0
Endless Robotics has created WALT 1.0, an autonomous wall painting robot that can work alongside a professional painter to do the tiresome work effortlessly. The machine is modular, making for easy set-up, and is controlled through an intuitive mobile app platform that is easy for workers to learn and use.
FBR Hadrian X
Hadrian X is a revolutionary bricklaying robot, relying on FBR’s Dynamic Stabilisation Technology to autonomously deliver high-quality products even in suboptimal conditions. The robot would allow walls of a house to be built in one day, with less wasted time and resources and in a safer, more efficient manner.
Hope Robotics is developing low cost, high output, faster, smarter and safer mobile autonomous painting robots. Their technology is addressing labor shortages in the construction industry and avoiding dangerous, toxic and highly repetitive labor.
Kewazo’s smart robotic scaffolding transportation system provides a cost-efficient and safe means for transporting scaffolding parts. Their solution addresses understaffing and efficiency concerns and can decrease assembly costs by at least 30% by delivering parts Just-In-Time and Just-In-Place during assembly.
Rational Robotics specializes in robots that apply coating automatically. Using their proprietary software and hardware, they can automate the dangerous and dirty job of painting and coating with unmatched accuracy and speed.
Skyline Robotics Ozmo
Skyline Robotics is an end-to-end facade cleaning solution made possible by Ozmo, their autonomous window-washing robot. Combining Artificial Intelligence and machine learning with state of the art robotic control and an array of sensors, Ozmo can clean buildings without changing or adding any infrastructure.
Transforma Robotics Pictobot
Transforma Robotics creates robots and robotic services to the construction industry, specifically in indoor wall painting and construction quality assessment. Their robotic solutions, such as Pictobot, stand to boost productivity by focusing on quality, time, and cost saving as well as sustainability and safety.
True Autonomy, aims to improve floor construction from pour to polish. Their first product, the ACP-100, provides retrofittable autonomous navigation and operation of concrete polishing machines, making concrete polishing more efficient, more effective, and more affordable.
ULC Robotics PRX250
Created by ULC Robotics, the PRX250 is a comprehensive, innovative live gas main camera inspection system, providing gas networks with the highest quality, most cost-effective and reliable pipeline inspection possible. The use of their PRX250 system is proven to provide significant cost savings, improved safety, increased efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction.
DOZR is an intelligent comprehensive search platform for heavy equipment. Their mission is to bring heavy equipment within reach for anyone, anywhere, anytime by leveraging technology. Today they have approximately 3000 contractors using the platform and roughly $300 million worth of equipment available in inventory.
EquipmentShare has created a range of equipment management solutions, from renting equipment to purchasing fleets to tracking assets. Their rental platform relies on high standards and a rigorous inspection process, and all EquipmentShare assets come equipped with their proprietary advanced telematics platform.
Getable serves the construction rental market with mobile tools designed for construction professionals and rental equipment providers. From forklifts to excavators to dumpsters, they have it all.
Machinio is one of the largest global platforms for buying and selling machinery and equipment. Using technology to connect buyers and sellers and facilitate transactions, they are trusted by thousands of dealers and suppliers to market and sell their equipment.
QuoteToMe’s platform helps to streamline communication with rental companies by saving you time spent calling, emailing and messaging them one by one, and creating a single point of reference for all quoting activity. Their tool is free for rental companies to use, making it easy to continue working with current contacts while also discovering new ones in their network.
Ritchie Bros’ online platform helps builders appraise, sell, inspect, buy, refurbish, ship, and finance heavy equipment and trucks. With a wide range of auctions across the country as well as equipment financing tools, Ritchie Bros offers equipment marketplace solutions for both buyers and sellers.
United Rentals is one of the largest equipment rental companies in the world, with a store network nearly three times the size of any other provider, and locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces. Their intuitive online platform makes it easy for buyers to source and procure any equipment they may need for their projects. They also have solutions for fleet and asset tracking.
Blokable provides modular housing units for developers in the United States. Their unique process and product significantly reduce the cost and time required to create and operate new multi-family housing, allowing us to build at a lower cost, higher quality, and in less time.
BLOX designs and manufactures Medical Modules and other prefabricated building components. The company's platform uses advanced methods and technologies to construct buildings, using materials that are pre-punched, pre-inspected, certified, and connection-ready, enabling clients to access modern medical modules, headwalls, and patient room bathrooms.
Katerra is an end-to-end modular building services provider with a full suite of flexible services across the building life cycle. Their "Integrated Factory" model connects the factory directly to the jobsite, ensuring a seamless transition from manufacturing, through delivery and installation. This approach extends the speed, precision, coordination, and quality assurance of the factory environment directly to Katerra jobsites.
Module designs and manufactures residential modules to deliver a more flexible model for home ownership. Their houses are manufactured off-site, ensuring tight quality control and major reductions in build times. From floor to finishes they make sure every house is healthy, resource-conscious, and environmentally sustainable.
A longtime leader in the construction space, Skender’s new modular capability offers a fully-integrated design, manufacturing, and construction suite all in one unified process. Their push into the modular space will be strongly supported by the launch of their new offsite production facility in Chicago.
Blueprint Robotics offers fully-integrated design and manufacturing services for off-site fabrication of building components. From virtual design and construction modeling all the way through manufacturing in their state-of-the-art facility and component delivery, they make it easy to assemble finish-ready structures in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Mestek Machinery is a designer and manufacturer of innovative metal forming solutions for the fabrication of HVAC sheet metal ductwork and fittings. The offer cutting edge, precision technologies and automated manufacturing equipment that saves sheet metal contractors and fabricators time and labor to ensure a finished duct product that reflects a reputation for quality.
TigerStop is a global leader in stop gauge and material positioning systems for rapid, precise positioning of almost any material including metal, wood, plastics, and composites. TigerStop length stops and automatic saw systems improve yield and productivity while reducing scrap waste and labor costs.
Velocity Robotics Autoset
Autoset is a precision positioning system developed by Velocity Robotics that combines precision with speed. Designed with the contractor in mind, Autoset works with your existing miter saw, chop saw, wet saw, drill press, or even your bender to get you a precision cut every time. Their solution allows you to cut faster, more precisely, and with less scrap.
Zeman Steel Beam Assembler
Zeman’s Steel Beam Assembler (SBA) is a fully-automated robotic assembly and welding line for steel profile structures. Their solution results in fast, cost-effective, error-free steel assembly, saving time and money and addressing concerns about skilled labor.
Cooper Gray Robotics ROEBL
Cooper Gray Robotics has developed ROEBL, an electric-powered skid steer equipped with intelligent drive technology. This autonomous technology brings the power of a traditional skid steer into more dangerous or close quarters at lower operating cost and lower safety risk.
For more than 100 years, Bigge has been one of America’s premier crane sales, crane rental, and project services companies. Their innovative, specialized project teams have provided heavy lift, heavy rigging, specialized transportation equipment, and innovative engineering solutions for some of the most challenging projects across the US.
BuiltRobotics builds robotic upgrade kits for construction equipment. They use off-the-shelf sensors and equipment and write software to make the machines operate autonomously. Their platform currently supports dozers, excavators, and skid steers, with more equipment on the way.
Cat Command enables you to implement remote control, semi-autonomous or fully autonomous mining equipment systems, offering unprecedented improvements in operator safety, equipment availability and site productivity. Cat Command is currently available for dozing, excavation, and loading.
Driven by the vision of a fully-autonomous jobsite, IntSite is developing a ground-breaking autonomous crane system. The technology promises to improve safety, profitability, and productivity on construction projects, while also allowing for the capture of new, valuable data points along the production process.
Komatsu’s FrontRunner is an Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) that uses GPS navigation to allow large electric mining trucks to operate to a complex plan rather than an operator. Their technology can significantly increase productivity, and in 2018 set the world record for autonomous haulage with more than two billion tons of surface material moved autonomously.