Mortenson Deploys Autonomous Equipment On Site

June 6, 2019

Mortenson has announced an agreement with Built Robotics to deploy fully autonomous construction machinery on renewable energy sites. The agreement also includes using retrofits for dozers, excavators, and skid steer loaders.

To do this, a terrain model for the company’s wind-turbine foundation excavations were loaded into the excavators, which were then set loose on the site. Machines use GPS tracking to remain within geo-fenced areas.

According to an article in ENR, Mortenson looked to Built’s solution not to replace its own operators, but to compensate for shortages of good operators willing to do repetitive work in remote areas.

“It is a long-term agreement for the next few years to continue to expand our deployment of autonomous equipment on renewable energy jobs,” Eric Sellman, VP for Mortenson’s civil group, told ENR. “We’ve identified wind projects in remote areas with a lot of repetitive work far from workforce center. Autonomous equipment could be a good fit for those.”

According to the article, the repetitive nature of some foundation work is a good fit for autonomous equipment. Sellman told ENR, on wind turbine projects, he’s seen the rate of efficiency improve dramatically following the implementation of autonomous machinery.

Source: ENR