As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Envelope Retrofit Opportunities for Building Optimization Technologies (E-ROBOT) Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering makerspaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, the Network is primed to create a sweeping portfolio of innovations to demonstrate the promise of advanced robotics for building envelope retrofits.
Advancements in robotics allow workers to reach places or perform activities that were previously impossible. For example, robots can safely enter small spaces and cavities, such as ductwork, to perform air-sealing or other efficiency activities. Robots can complement and support the existing workforce by creating new employment and business opportunities while also helping to ensure quality and consistency when installing energy efficiency measures.
The overarching goal of E-ROBOT is to catalyze the development of minimally invasive, low-cost, and holistic building envelope retrofit solutions that make retrofits easier, faster, safer, and more accessible for workers. Successful competitors will provide solutions that provide significant advancements in robot technologies that will advance the energy efficiency retrofit industry and develop building envelope retrofit technologies that meet the following criteria:
The E-ROBOT Prize provides a total of $5 million in funding, including $4 million in cash prizes for competitors and an additional $1 million in awards and support to network partners.
Through this prize, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will stimulate technological innovation, create new opportunities for the buildings and construction workforce, reduce building retrofit costs, create a safer and faster retrofit process, ensure consistent, high-quality installations, enhance construction retrofit productivity, and improve overall energy savings of the built environment.
The E-ROBOT Prize is made up of two phases that will fast-track efforts to identify, develop, and validate disruptive solutions to meet building industry needs. Each phase will include a contest period when participants will work to rapidly advance their solutions. DOE invites anyone, individually or as a team, to compete to transform a conceptual solution into product reality.
Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Solve this Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.
If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.
No, if you are a contest winner you are receiving the prize for meeting or exceeding the contest goals.
No, connectors are an optional resource.
Innovation is about making ideas happen. The American-Made Network will accelerate and sustain solar innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, facilities, and other valuable industry partners from across the U.S. who will engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of Solar Prize competitors.
Connectors are the core component of the American-Made Network and are organizations that seek to support the efforts of competitors in the Solar Prize. Use this link to explore the Network to find potential partners and develop relationships.
Power Connector organizations are a core group of Connectors that will work alongside NREL to implement parts of the program and secure additional resources and partners.
Discover who they are and how they will help innovators succeed.
If you encounter an issue when attempting to submit an entry to the challenge, you may need to contact HeroX or the Prize Administrator.
You may try to connect with HeroX using the online form which appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window, it says Leave a Message.
You may also send a message to the Prize Administrator inbox at
Please allow at least 1 business day for a response.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the Prize Administrator for the American-Made Challenges. In this capacity, NREL works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to administer the challenges, maintain the website platform, assist in building the network, and pay prize money to the winning teams.
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