Adobe Stock / Kadmy

A startup based out of Bloomington, Indiana, called Terran Robotics is aiming to lower construction costs with advanced technology, says Susan Orr for the Indianapolis Business Journal. The business is “teaching” autonomous drones how to build earthen homes that could reduce home building costs up to 30%. The savings, the company said, would come from the reduced labor and its use of alternative building materials, as adobe, a makeup of clay, sand, and straw, is much cheaper than lumber and drywall.

The company’s basic goal is to teach an autonomous drone the basic skills it needs to build adobe walls: how to fly from point to point; how to achieve stable flight while carrying a payload of adobe or tools; how to pick up and drop scoops full of adobe; and how to use a tool to shape and smooth a newly built wall.

O’Donnell said Terran has already cracked the first two skills and is on track to complete the other two by year’s end. If it succeeds in doing so, Terran can then qualify to apply for a much larger “Phase 2” NSF grant that would include $1 million plus an investment match of up to $500,000.

There’s no guarantee of landing a Phase 2 grant, though, and in the meantime Terran is preparing to seek its first round of outside funding. The company started talking with potential investors this month, O’Donnell said, but he declined to say what the company’s seed-round fundraising goal is.

Assuming that Terran is successful in its fundraising, O’Donnell said, the company hopes to hire five to seven employees in spring 2022.

Read More