The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced three winners of its American-Made E-ROBOT Prize, a competition that challenged teams of entrepreneurs to design and build robotic-driven approaches to retrofit buildings more safely and quickly with higher energy-performing walls and other building envelope solutions. Each winner will receive equal shares of the $2 million prize amount in cash prizes for their robotic solutions, which promise to accelerate the pace of building retrofits across the country.
“The types of innovations our E-ROBOT competition unleashed have the power to transform our buildings sector,” said Ram Narayanamurthy, a Program Manager in the Building Technologies Office where the E-ROBOT’s concept was born. “Advancements in building retrofits are necessary to achieve ambitious energy goals, considering that only about 1% of building floorspace in the U.S. is retrofitted in deep, meaningful ways every year due to the high cost and invasive nature of today’s construction and renovation methods. Prototypes developed through the E-ROBOT Prize showcase the promise of advanced robotics to make envelope retrofits more convenient for more people.”
Unified Retrofits – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – Unified Retrofits – Holistic Robotic Retrofits – Team includes Ben Franklin client, FLX Solutions, Bethlehem, and partners Gensler, Lamarr.AI, and Skyline Capital Builders.
Unified Retrofits brings together leaders in the retrofit robotics, energy auditing, architecture, and construction fields to address the issues of sensing, mapping, and minimally invasive building envelope retrofits. This team’s user-friendly suite of tools includes: a project management, costing, and ROI software for integrated workflows, UAV and AI powered autonomous anomaly sensing and detection system, and a robotic retrofit tool that can implement minimally invasive envelope remediations such as caulking, aerosol sealing, and foam insulating across all types of existing buildings. More via Energy.gov.
In addition, in late December 2021, FLX Solutions won first place in a Seed Round at PitchForce, providing validation to the company’s product and market opportunities from a panel of seasoned investors.