US-based construction robotics start-up Canvas has announced a strategic partnership with USG, the inventor of drywall and materials such as Sheetrock brand All Purpose, Plus 3, and more.
The two organisations say they have teamed up in a bid to collectively innovate and address chronic labor shortages, schedule and budget overruns, quality inconsistencies, and productivity and safety issues within the drywall space.
The partnership aims to leverage two technical advances: onsite robotics from Canvas and advanced building materials expertise from USG.
Over the past 122 years, USG has invented a variety of products and technologies for the building materials industry and holds more than 2,600 active patents.
Chris Griffin, president and CEO at USG Corporation, said: “In partnering with Canvas, we are expanding our ability to use breakthrough technology to advance how our customers are able to finish projects.
“Combining our sought-after materials and our R&D capabilities with Canvas’ robotics expertise offers great potential for solutions that can revolutionise the drywall industry.”
Canvas’ collaborative robotics, introduced to drywall contractors in 2022, use AI and machine learning to sense, understand, and execute to the exact specifications of each project.
The machine’s arm is designed to minimise overuse injuries that drywall finishers often experience.
Jonathan Hughes, vice-president of Estimating at Daley’s Drywall & Taping, said: “As an early adopter of the Canvas machine, we see three clear benefits of the system.
“One, it makes work safer for our tapers by eliminating dangerous dust, minimising repetitive motion injuries, and reducing accidental falls.
“Two, the finish is amazing and consistent; and three, the machine makes the work much faster, improving our productivity metrics and making us much more competitive.”
Canvas says the partnership “changes the constraints” on innovation and unlocks “entirely new” evolutionary paths for the drywall industry.
Dr. Srinivas Veeramasuneni, chief technology officer at USG, said: “The Canvas materials process team has been working with USG for more than a year to enable high-quality surface finishing with current materials and are developing next-generation materials.
“With a shared commitment to customer-centric innovation, these types of partnerships extend our ability to deliver on customers’ needs and help drive the industry forward.”
The move marks the second major announcement from Canvas in recent months to “revolutionise” the process of drywall finishing.
Canvas announced in March that global construction equipment manufacturer Hilti will now produce Canvas’s robotic machines.
Canvas CEO Kevin Albert said: “Even with the invention of the bazooka and the box, there were still the same four-five steps to deliver a finished wall – that is now no longer true.
“With Hilti as Canvas’s manufacturing partner and USG teaming with us to further advance materials, Canvas can accelerate the reinvention and evolution of drywall finishing, driving value across the ecosystem from architects and owners to the current and next generation of skilled trade worker.
“By teaming with these industry leaders, we are creating something totally new – the opportunity space will explode.”
Image credit: Canvas
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