Acutronic has created modular versions of Robotiq adaptive grippers.

July 24, 2019      

Acutronic Robotics this week announced it would shut down on July 31, after failing to find additional sources of capital.

Founded in 2016 after the acquisition of robotics startup Erle Robotics, the company was developing H-ROS, a communications bus specifically designed for robots. The Vitoria-Gasteiz-based company was able to secure partnerships, and created the modular MARA robot, which ran on ROS 2 natively.

“We continue to believe that our robot modularity technology and vision are relevant strategically speaking, both product and positioning wise,” said CEO Victor Mayoral in a blog post announcing the shutdown. “However, we probably hit the market too early and fell short of resources.”

Acutronic Robotics

Image: Acutronic Robotics

The company said it worked extensively in the past few months to find sources of capital. “Despite having considered proposals from several parties interested in an acquisition, unfortunately none of them could be agreed upon,” the company said.

The company said it was helping to co-steer the development of ROS 2 and participate in a variety of robotic groups while funding organizations to advance the state of robotics. “We are absolutely convinced that ROS is a key blueprint for the future of robotics,” said Mayoral. “The ROS robotics community has been a constant inspiration for all of us over these past years, and I’m sure that with the new ROS 2, many more companies will be inspired in the same way. Our team members are excited about their next professional steps, and I’m sure many of us will stay very close to the ROS community.”

Acutronic's modular versions of Robotiq adaptive grippers

Acutronic had created modular characteristics for Robotiq adaptive grippers. Source: Acutronic Robotics

Earlier this year, the company had announced it had created modular characteristics for three of Robotiq’s adaptive grippers as an example of its modular technology for more flexible automation. In September 2017, the company had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Sony.

The closure marks another company within the robotics space that has shut its doors in recent years. Earlier this year, Aria Insights (formerly Cy Phy Works), and consumer robotics company Anki closed down; and Rethink Robotics closed its doors late last year, although the branding continues on through a division of the Hahn Group.