Built Robotics, Dexterity and Outrider Recognized in A16z’s American Dynamism 50 AI Edition

Jan 30, 2024

Built Robotics, Dexterity and Outrider Recognized in A16z’s American Dynamism 50 AI Edition

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From the last mile to low Earth orbit, solar fields to the battlefield, artificial intelligence is redefining our barometer for progress. Thus, this year’s American Dynamism 50 — a16z’s annual spotlight on 50 groundbreaking tech companies advancing the national interest — all harness AI to fulfill their missions. Whittling this contingent down to 50 companies was a challenge; of course, there are many more AI companies than the 50 featured below that are contributing to a more prosperous America. In addition, many hugely consequential American Dynamism companies didn’t fit neatly into this project’s particular AI focus. The AI companies highlighted below are tackling some of the country’s most pressing problems across aerospace, defense, energy, transportation, manufacturing, and more. Ultimately, we hope the ambitions of the American Dynamism 50 spark conversation and inspire optimism in America’s future.

Built Robotics

Built Robotics cofounder Noah Ready Campbell grew up building homes by hand with his father, a carpenter. The experience inspired him to apply technology to existing construction tools. Today, Built focuses on the production of solar farms, an imperative in meeting the U.S.’s clean energy goals. Built’s Exosystem technology transforms commercial excavators into a largely autonomous trenching robot. In 2023, the company introduced an autonomous pile-driving robot that can carry up to 200 of the heavy steel beams that support photovoltaic panels at a time. The robotic pile driver, dubbed RPD 35, can sink a 15-foot pile into the ground every 73 seconds, on average, with an accuracy of less than an inch.

Dexterity

Dexterity builds AI-guided, autonomous robots with applications in warehousing, manufacturing, logistics, retail, and supply chain operations. In 2023, the company doubled its number of robots in the field and tripled the number of items its robots fulfilled. It also developed a two-armed robot for FedEx named DexR, which uses generative AI, cameras, force-feedback, and lidar sensors to quickly load and stack variously sized boxes into delivery trucks and trailers, maximizing space. Dexterity’s underlying machine learning platform means the robots become more efficient and capable of handling a wider range of challenges and variables over time.

Outrider

Since its founding in 2017, Outrider has pioneered autonomous, electric yard trucks that can hitch and unhitch trailers; technology to back the trailers; and robotic systems to connect and disconnect air lines unassisted. In 2023, the company introduced a new cloud-based trailer inventory technology that uses computer vision and deep learning to manage one’s fleet and track misplaced semi-trailers and containers in distribution yards in real time. The company trials all its technology at its own 200,000-square-foot distribution yard-turned-testing facility in Brighton, Colorado before bringing it to market.