Video: 'Rufus' Illustrates Capabilities of Jobsite Robots

Industry News,

Originally Published by: HBS Dealer — February 12, 2024
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Renovate Robotics, a manufacturer of automated roofing products, has unveiled its latest design — Rufus, the world’s first automated roofing robot. 

Rufus the roofing robot is put through tests while applying shingles.

Rufus is a prototype designed to double productivity for asphalt shingle installation and improve safety for roofing contractors. 

Roofing had the second-highest fatality rate of all occupations in the United States in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and roofing contractors consistently struggle to recruit skilled labor. 

The robot debuted earlier this month at the International Roofing Exhibition (IRE) and can be found in the Start-Up Zone at the International Builders Show later this month.

By doubling productivity, Brooklyn, New York-based Renovate said it is empowering contractors to increase their revenue without scaling beyond their existing roofing crews.

The team at Renovate Robotics.

Rufus is designed to be modular and while it’s starting with automated asphalt shingle installation, the robot is capable of performing additional tasks. Renovate’s roadmap includes the capability for shingle tear-off and shingle cutting. 

“We're already making improvements to Rufus, and will bring a lighter, faster, and more reliable version to market in the spring of 2024,” said Andy Stulc, founder and CEO of Renovate Robotics.

Renovate plans to pilot the technology as a subcontractor, working with select roofing contractors to complete residential re-roof projects in the spring of 2024. The company is also exploring opportunities to bring the technology to the new construction and manufactured home industries.

The company said it also plans to bring functionality to automate bracket installation for rack and panel solar systems, as well as automated solar shingle installation.

“Rufus can already navigate around roof planes and automatically install shingles using AI - but this is just the beginning," Stulc said. “We have an exciting roadmap ahead of us, and are excited to continue launching products that bring value to all parts of the roofing industry.”

A video from Renovate Robotics featuring Rufus can be viewed at top.