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Cobot proudly reveals innovative non-humanoid robots, announces $100M Series B.

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 1, 2024
Cobot reveals non-humanoid robots, announces $100M Series B.

Cobot proudly reveals innovative non-humanoid robots, announces $100M Series B.

The burgeoning field of robotics, traditionally dominated by applications in heavy industry and scientific research, is experiencing a significant shift as startups like Sunnyvale, California’s Collaborative Robotics, commonly known as Cobot, pave the way for robotic integration in more diverse environments. Yesterday marked a substantial milestone for Cobot with the announcement of a $100 million Series B funding round, led by General Catalyst and supported by several prominent venture capital firms. This infusion of capital significantly escalates Cobot’s potential impact on manufacturing, healthcare, and retail sectors, where its robots are designed to work alongside humans, enhancing productivity and reducing errors.

Funding RoundAmountDateLead InvestorKey Participants
Seed$10M2022Sequoia CapitalKhosla Ventures, Mayo Clinic
Series A$30MSummer 2023Bison VenturesLux Capital, Industry Ventures
Series B$100MApril 2024General CatalystSequoia Capital, Lux Capital, Industry Ventures

Founded in 2022 by Brad Porter, a former Amazon VP of Robotics, Cobot has quickly distinguished itself in the competitive robotics landscape. Porter, who now serves as CEO, brings a rich pedigree from his time at Amazon, which is known for its robust robotics initiatives including acquisitions like Kiva and projects like Zoox. Under his leadership, Cobot aims to revolutionize the way robots interact in human-centric environments.

The primary goal for the newly acquired funds is to accelerate the deployment of Cobot’s robots into real-world applications. As Porter stated, “This funding will help us get more robots into the real world faster, enhancing efficiency and safety across various industries.”

Since its inception, Cobot has taken a deliberate and secretive approach to development. The startup initially raised $10 million in a seed round and further established its vision with $30 million raised during the Series A round in the summer of 2023. By early 2024, Cobot had not only developed proof-of-concepts but had also secured three committed customers, culminating in a fully functioning robot ready for field testing by January 30, 2024.

The robot, developed with a “zonal compute architecture and industrial-rated sensors,” was capable of autonomous movement and environment interaction immediately upon activation, as detailed by Porter in a blog post published alongside the funding announcement.

Despite the competitive market, with rivals like Figure raising $675 million and integrating technologies with OpenAI, and Tesla advancing its Optimus humanoid robot project, Cobot remains focused on a non-humanoid design philosophy. This approach, as Porter explained to TechCrunch, eschews the humanoid form factor for more practical and cost-effective solutions. Not much has been revealed about their first robot, dubbed 000001, other than it’s currently operational, assisting with logistics at a global transload facility.

  • Non-humanoid design: Focuses on practical tasks like moving boxes and carts, avoiding the complexities and costs associated with humanoid robots.
  • Advanced technology: Utilizes state-of-the-art sensing, perception, localization, and planning technologies.
  • Integration with AI: Capable of interacting through conversational AI, backed by powerful NVIDIA Orin systems for computational needs.

Cobot has adopted a Robots-As-A-Service (RaaS) model, aligning with modern business trends that prioritize operational flexibility and reduced upfront costs. This model facilitates easier integration of advanced robotics into business operations without hefty initial investments. Furthermore, Cobot’s Flywheel program collaborates with customers to develop their robotics transformation strategies, enhancing customer engagement and promoting continuous innovation.

With this significant funding round, Cobot plans to enhance its AI capabilities, expand its supply chain, and accelerate engagement with customers. The company is actively hiring for various roles, both at its Santa Clara headquarters and remotely, signaling its commitment to growth and innovation in the robotics sector.

As industries increasingly turn to automation for efficiency and cost savings, Cobot’s innovative approach to practical and collaborative robotics positions it as a significant player in the evolving landscape of industrial robotics. With a strong team, strategic leadership, and a clear vision for the future, Cobot is set to redefine the standards of human-robot interaction, promising a new era of productivity and safety in commercial settings.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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