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Qualifying ‘Essential’ News
Each week the editors of Robotics Business Review (RBR) select those announcements judged to be the most important and impactful to the readers of RBR. Below are the selections for the interval ranging from March 12th – 19th, 2021.
Companies referenced include include notices from FORT Robotics, Piaggio Fast Forward, Trimble, Ford, University of Michigan, Monarch Tractor, Cruise and AEye.
FORT Robotics, a developer of safety-and-security solutions for autonomous and intelligent machines in a variety of industries, closed on $13 million in Series A funding led by Prime Movers Lab. Other investors include Prologis Ventures, Quiet Capital, Lemnos Labs, Creative Ventures, Ahoy Capital, Compound, and FundersClub. Company representatives indicated the company will use the funding for further product development and to increase its workforce.
Piaggio Fast Forward, producer of the gita robot mobile robot (and Piaggio Group subsidiary), announced a collaboration with Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB), a provider of positioning technology solutions, for the creation of a proof-of-concept “follow-me” mobile robotic systems for industrial applications in multiple industries including construction, mining, agriculture and logistics. In the prototype the companies integrated Piaggio’s PFFtag smart following module onto a Boston Dynamics’ Spot mobile robot platform which is controlled by Trimble’s advanced positioning technology. The platform enables robots to follow humans and other machines. in industrial applications.
Monarch Tractor Closes $20 Million Series A Funding Round
March 16, 2021
Monarch Tractor, a developer of a fully electric, driver-optional tractors announced the closing of a US $20 million Series A funding round. The investment round was led by Musashi Seimitsu Industry, a Japanese auto parts company, CNH Industrial, a producer of agricultural and industrial equipment, and VST Tillers Tractors Ltd., an Indian tractor and implement company. The round also includes At One Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund, and MUUS, a sustainability-focused private capital group.
The University of Michigan (U-M) announced the opening of the Ford Motor Company Robotics Building, a four-story, US $75 million, 134,000-square-foot complex which will act as the centerpiece of the U-M Robotics Institute. According to U-M officials, its first three floors hold custom U-M research labs, classrooms, and offices. The fourth floor will house Ford’s robotics and mobility research lab, including Ford researchers and engineers. Labs housed in the new building include a walking robotics laboratory, a rehabilitation lab, drone testing area, and more.
GM-Backed Cruise Acquires Self-Driving Start-Up Voyage
March 15, 2021
Cruise LLC, the self-driving technology company that is majority-owned by General Motors, acquired autonomous-vehicle startup Voyage, which operates a robotaxi transportation service for senior citizens in retirement communities. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron is joining Cruise as Vice President of product. Voyage has raised approximately US $52 million in funding, which Cruise has raised more than US $8 billion and receives about $1 billion a year from GM.
Lidar Veteran Rick Tewell Joins AEye Chief Operating Officer
March 15, 2021
AEye, a developer of high-performance, active LiDAR solutions active LiDAR systems for vehicle autonomy, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and robotic vision systems, announced the appointment of Rick Tewell to Chief Operating Officer (COO). Tewell joins AEye from Velodyne Lidar, where he last served COO.
- RBR Essential Robotics Announcements – March 5 – 12, 2021
- Essential Robotics Announcements – January 8th – 14th, 2021
- Essential Robotics Announcements – January 1st – 7th, 2021
- Essential Robotics Announcements – December 25th – 31st, 2020
- Essential Robotics Announcements – December 18 – 24th, 2020
- Essential Robotics Announcements – December 11-17th, 2020