Soft Robotics acquires $23 million cash injection for gentle robotic grippers

Soft Robotics just secured a massive Series B funding round to improve its warehouse robotic technology.
Image: Soft Robotics

A lot of today’s robots are focused on dexterity, movement, and thinking. However, other companies are focusing on what made robotics such a popular field in the first place—arms. One of these is Soft Robotics.

The young startup is working on developing robotic grippers that use soft material endpoints to grasp a wide array of objects. Now, it has raised an additional $23 million in funding to help fuel its ambitions. Among the list of backers is FANUC, the largest global maker of industrial robots.

Fresh New Funding

This isn’t the first time that Soft Robotics has closed a massively successful funding round. Back in 2018, it secured $20 million. Prior to that, in 2015, it raised $5 million in Series A funding. The startup already has an impressive list of corporate clients around the globe utilizing its innovations. As such, the funding isn’t just keeping it afloat.

Rather, Soft Robotics will use the cash injection to continue expanding its offerings and attracting new clients.

Notably, FANUC is listed as one of the large investors during the most recent funding round. The warehouse robotics giant also announced a strategic partnership with Soft Robotics. Considering that the two occupy the same space, such teamwork could be huge for the startup.

Others pitching in on the $23 million Series B round include Calibrate Ventures and Material Impact. It also included funding from exiting investors like Honeywell, Yamaha, Hyperplane, and several others.

The additional funding is a good sign for the future of both Soft Robotics and the automated warehouse industry.

All Hail the Gripper

Soft Robotics has been making waves in its sector for the past several years. Its growth is in line with that of the warehouse automation industry as its popularity (and value) continues to skyrocket. The firm is currently focused on creating a system that uses proprietary grasping technology alongside machine vision to automate packaging for a variety of supply chains.

In some facilities, it is difficult to use robotic arms because the items moving down the line vary in shape, size, and texture. For example, an industrial bakery cranking out croissants can’t trust a normal robot to package its goods without damaging them.

That’s where Soft Robotics comes in. The video below demonstrates how its automated system is able to carefully but swiftly package the croissants in a box.

The company’s CEO, Carl Vause, says, “This new funding will allow us to power the next phase of our growth strategy and continue to provide solutions to our customers’ greatest challenges.”

He goes on to add, “Variability is the kryptonite of the robotics industry. By offering a system that is able to grasp and manipulate items that vary in size, shape, and weight, we are able to solve the problem of high variability in both products and processes.”

Soft Robotics’ newest funding round will certainly help it to continue improving its offerings. As it expands further into the warehouse automation industry, Soft Robotics will be a name to remember in the 2020s.


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