Robots are changing the world as we know it. From manufacturing to agriculture and everywhere in between, robotic solutions are making life easier and more efficient. That being said, they aren’t always great at working together.
Robust.AI is working to build “the world’s first industrial-grade cognitive engine for robots.” It could be a major step towards allowing robots and humans to work side by side.
What Does Robust.AI Do?
As a company, Robust.AI is fairly new. However, the problem that it is trying to address is not. Robotics applications have recently become more popular than ever thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses look for new ways to automate their workflows. This means the environments that robots are working in are becoming more complex.
Therein lies Robust.AI’s mission. The startup is working to reimagine the software stacks that run many of these robotics systems. Ultimately, it wants to make them smarter, safer, and more efficient.
Rodney Brooks, the startup’s chief technology officer, says, “Finding market fit is as important in robots and AI systems as any other product. We are building something we believe most robotics companies will find irresistible, taking solutions from single-purpose tools that today function in defined environments, to highly useful systems that can work within our world and all its intricacies.”
In other words, Robust.AI wants to make robots more adaptive. This isn’t something that is easy to achieve for most systems. Robots excel at doing pre-defined tasks. Those outfitted with modern sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) hardware are slightly better at responding to their environment. However, adapting to changing conditions—something that happens frequently when human employees are also present—is something that robots struggle with.
With a better cognitive system, that could change.
Robust.AI’s new funding comes courtesy of several leading firms, including Jazz Venture Partners. Existing investors who also contributed to the $15 million Series A round include Playground Global, Liquid2, Fontinalis, Jaan Tallinn, and Mark Leslie.
The Bay-Area startup now has $22.5 million in total funding at its disposal. That should be enough to get its principal product off the ground.
Roboust.AI was founded in 2019 by a handful of executives with plenty of experience in the robotics world. Notably, Brooks is a co-founder of iRobot, the company behind popular units like the Roomba. Helen Greiner, another iRobot co-founder, is also on board.
Finally, the startup’s CEO, Gary Marcus, was the co-founder of Geometric Intelligence, a company focused on machine learning that was eventually bought by Uber in 2016.
With that much talent on board, it won’t be a surprise when Robust.AI finds success. Keep an eye on this startup and the impact that it will have on the robotics industry.