Using Robots to Install Roofing in New Construction

The use of robotics and automation is increasing in new home construction, and roofing is no exception. Robotic drones and machines have been used to install shingles on roofs, nail down loose shingles and even complete the job in much less time.

The new home construction industry has been exploring and adopting various technologies, including robotics, to improve efficiency and safety. Robotic systems designed for construction tasks, including roofing, are in development in North America. 

For example, in 2019, at the University of Michigan, the teams were able to deploy a drone to nail down shingles on a roof. This was made possible using a octocopter drone attached to a roofing nail gun.

The roofing industry isn’t the most prolific one in new home construction, and in fact – it comes with a considerable amount risk from safety. With robotics and automation in roofing, home builders can save money, time and reduce safety related incidents in the workplace.

Another example is the use of drones for roofing inspections and surveys. Drones equipped with cameras or other sensors can quickly and safely assess the condition of a roof, identifying issues such as damage or leaks. However, these drones are typically operated by human pilots.

In terms of actual roofing work, there have been advancements in robotic systems that can assist with certain tasks. For instance, there are robotic systems designed to lift and place roofing materials, making the process more efficient for human workers. Renovate Robotics is a start-up company that is running pilot projects with those in the roofing industry. The company has built and tested its own robot that can assist in installing new asphalt shingles and solar shingles.

Keep in mind that the adoption of new technologies in the construction industry can vary, and developments continue to occur.

Let’s consider some of the benefits of using robotics in the roofing industry:

Combat Labor Shortage

The shortage of labor in the roofing and new home construction industry has been an issue many builders and developers have been dealing with for a number of years. Once successful, roofing robots such as the one being developed by Renovate Robotics would help fill the void in the labor shortage across the USA and Canada.

Reduce Labor Costs

The cost of labor is the primary expense in any roofing job, and by eliminating the bulk of this cost using robots would be ideal for everyone. The roofing company would save costs, customers would save costs and the bottom line could be increased for the robotics company.

Remain Competitive

By lowering the cost to serve, roofing companies would be able pass along savings to the customer – but don’t expect all the savings to get passed down. At the end of the day, automation is one of the catalysts behind increasing revenues and competition in the market. For roofing companies that work primarily with new home construction, the cost savings would likely contribute to the bottom line of the companies involved.

Increase Safety

Lastly, and most importantly – the use of robotics in roofing would be ideal in increasing safety in the workplace. Roofing can be a dangerous profession, and accidents have occurred in years prior. With the use of robotics in roofing, all parties involved can ensure the safety of the personnel is maintained.

While taking these factors into consideration, we can safely say that the benefits outweigh the costs associated with robots in roofing.