Conxai founders Krishna Sridhar and Sharique Husain.
© Conxai

Conxai Is Bringing AI to Construction

Compared to other industries, the construction industry is considered inefficient, which leads to losses in the billions according to McKinsey. The Munich startup Conxai is relying on computer vision and AI to take on these inefficiencies.

“More than 10 trillion dollars are spent every year worldwide in the construction industry. And most construction projects take longer than planned and exceed their budget by a considerable amount, which leads to a loss of profitability, legal disputes and excessive insurance costs. And it all costs the industry 1.6 trillion dollars every year,”

explained Conxai founder Sharique Husain. The physicist founded the successful computer vision startup Dive in Madrid and also worked for several startups in various positions. With his idea to digitize the construction industry, he turned to AI expert Krish Sridhar, who previously led research in the field of autonomous driving as Program Head Autonomous AI at Continental and researched for the US Department of Defense at DARPA. They developed their AI solution together.

Conxai uses the existing infrastructure

The startup is making use of the infrastructure that already exists on construction sites to digitize them. The AI platform collects and analyzes data from cameras and other available sensors in order to analyze and interpret construction activities as to how they are influencing the development of the building structures. This makes it possible to monitor the construction site in real time while also identifying and reporting all cost-optimized incidents, safety, quality and logistics.

The AI should be able to do even more in the future: Using a digital twin of the construction site should make it possible to detect problems, such as deviations from the blueprints. The intention is to recognize and resolve errors and problems faster than is currently the case.

“If a wall is positioned incorrectly, for example because the workers have an older version of the blueprints, the system will recognize the error and respond quickly before the wall has been completed and has to be torn down again. These kinds of mistakes are usually only detected during the next site visit. This saves not only a lot of time, but the related costs as well,”

said Husain.

Cost effective and GDPR-compliant

The startup is by no means only focused on large projects, as the founders explain further. The Conxai solution generates results with cost-effective cameras whose quality is on par even with the significantly more expensive LiDAR systems. And thanks to the startup’s hardware-agnostic approach, companies can use cameras that they already own for other applications.

“That is a game changer, because we’re making AI for construction sites suitable for the mass market for the first time,”

elaborated Husain. There’s also no need for users to worry about data protection, explained the founders. That’s because Conxai doesn’t process any personal data and has an additional layer that blurs faces as well as license plates and areas around the construction site that are recorded by the cameras. This makes the solution fully GDPR compliant.

When it comes to the corporate philosophy of Conxai, Husain said:

“Our product is inspired by the Bauhaus philosophy: the best for the largest possible number of users at the lowest possible costs.”

So why did Sridhar and Husain decide to found their startup in Munich and not in Madrid or even in the US? The founders said:

“The Munich startup ecosystem really won us over. The combination of academia, young and motivated talent and the existing local industry makes Munich the place to be for us when it comes to founding. We believe in Munich as a powerhouse for Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence in Europe.”