Impact 20-Canvas
Courtesy of Canvas

    Drywall installation may not seem like a hazardous task, but in fact it’s a major cause of injuries among construction workers: The constant smoothing and coating involved in drywall finishing can cause repetitive-stress injuries, forcing some laborers into early retirements—a serious problem at a time when the industry already faces a labor shortage.

    Canvas sees this as a problem technology can solve. The company’s robots—outfitted with sensors, a lift station, and a mechanical arm—help construction workers with the repetitive elements of drywall work. Canvas also sees automation as an enhancement to human workers, not a replacement for them: It is teaming up with trade unions to help popularize its technology. As part of Canvas’s partnership with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, union members learn how to work with the robots, training on technology that can help prolong their careers. Some of Canvas’s high-profile projects include new installations at the San Francisco International Airport and the University of California San Francisco.

    Company information

    HeadquartersSan Francisco
    CEOKevin Albert
    No. of employeesFewer than 100
    InvestorsAlumni Ventures Group, Chestnut Street Ventures, Grit Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Obvious Ventures