Robotics roundup: Happy National Robotics week, some exoskeletons and robotic storage wars
Happy Robotics Week, to those that rejoice. I do know a variety of us are unable to be with our family members this yr, which implies no robotics tree, robotics baskets stuffed with robotic eggs and inexperienced robotic beer. Still, the National Robotics Week group is placing on a bunch of digital occasions throughout 50 states by means of April 11.
There’s been a bit of economic news over the previous week, additionally price noting. On Tuesday, Sarcos joined the rarified air of robotic SPACs. While it’s true there’s been a flurry of exercise on that entrance within the startup world, robotics firms have been slower to embrace the entire blank-check-reverse-merger deal. Berkshire-Grey is the one firm that instantly springs to thoughts.
Sarcos builds robotics and robotic exoskeletons that appear to be they had been designed for a James Cameron film. The firm has already raised a bunch of cash, together with a $40 million spherical, again in September, however might be most notable to mainstream readers for being at the middle of Delta’s latest high-tech push. The airline plans to make use of among the firm’s tech to assist staff raise giant payloads.
San Francisco-based Rapid Robotics, in the meantime, introduced a $12 million Series A. That brings the corporate’s funding thus far as much as $17.5 million, sizzling on the heels of a decent-sized seed spherical. The firm’s goal is offering a type of plug and play resolution for robotics manufacturing, and primarily reducing the barrier of entry for manufacturing automation throughout a variety of industries.
SoftBank, which continues to be fairly bullish on the house, simply acquired 40% of AutoStore for a cool $2.8 billion, placing the Norwegian firm’s valuation at $7.7 billion. The firm makes use of robotics to maximise warehouse storage, consolidating it into round 1 / 4 of the house. It already has a large footprint, as effectively — 20,000 robots deployed at round 600 areas. Per SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son:
We view AutoStore as a foundational expertise that permits speedy and cost-effective logistics for firms across the globe. We sit up for working with AutoStore to aggressively increase throughout finish markets and geographies.
And as a result of it could actually’t all be funding news (I imply, it could actually, however who needs that?), some cool analysis out of MIT. Researchers from the college, together with ones from Harvard and Georgia Tech, showcased a robotic that makes use of radio waves to sense hidden objects. The tech permits RF-Grasp to choose up issues which might be lined up or in any other case out of its line of imaginative and prescient. MIT Associate Professor Fadel Adib describes it as “superhuman perception.”