This US company has a robotic solution for solar panel construction

U.S company Sarcos Robotics is keen on revolutionizing automated solar field construction with robotics.
Sejal Sharma
Robotic solutions for solar field construction.
Robotic solutions for solar field construction.


Construction of large solar plants isn’t an easy task. It requires a huge amount of labor and given the size of solar panels (photovoltaic modules), it’s a hazardous and challenging feat. 

That’s where Sarcos Robotics, a company based out of Utah, stepped up in 2021 and said ‘’modern problems require modern solutions”. Two years later, it has successfully developed robotic technology to construct large-scale solar fields which it claims reduces costs and accelerates the construction of solar fields.

Their project, called the Outdoor Autonomous Manipulation of Photovoltaic Panels (O-AMPP), aims to streamline the arduous process of solar field construction into one harmonized system to detect, lift, place, and deliver PV modules in the field. The Sarcos Robotic Solar Module Installation Solution is a two-component solution. The first is an autonomous working vehicle - Guardian XM intelligent manipulator robot and the second is an autonomous delivery vehicle.

The system has many advantages such as improving workers’ safety by reducing mishaps and injuries on the field, performing in challenging environmental and climatic conditions, and reducing human errors.

Promoting access to solar energy, the project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy which awarded the company $1.9 million in funding. Sarcos completed the project in collaboration with Mortenson, JLG Industries, Array Technologies, and Pratt Miller.

It is expected that the company will commercialize its product by the year 2024.

Conquering an industrial hiccup

The U.S. government wishes that by 2030, 30 percent of the country’s electricity generation would be solar-powered, according to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry. Currently, the figure stands at 3.5 percent. The association has claimed that in order to achieve this ambitious target, there needs to be an addition of 900,000 workers to the workforce.

Talking about the unprecedented labor shortage and increase in demand faced by the solar construction industry today, Trent Mostaert, vice president at Mortenson said, “We believe the O-AMPP system can address these challenges while improving safety, productivity, and efficiency for our workers.”

Given these limitations, robot-based technologies could just be the solution to increasing solar power output. And the solar field construction market constitutes a massive market for robotic technology.

Mostaert added, “It will also enable solar project developers to scale output and production to the levels needed to achieve the Energy Department’s 2030 and 2050 renewable energy goals. We are excited about the possibilities and potential impact of the O-AMPP system in solar construction.”

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