Editor’s Note: Robotics Business Review’s coverage emphasizes innovation, including start-up companies (or ‘young’ companies). RBR “Start-Up Profiles” highlight individual start-up companies using a consistent, templated format that makes for quick, yet informed reading, that also simplifies comparative analysis.
Veo Robotics – Company Profile
|Country:||USA||# of Employees:||49|
Founders – Patrick Sobalvarro (Co-Founder/CEO), Clara Vu (Co-Founder/CTO), Scott Denenberg (Co-Founder/VP of Engineering)
Funding Status – As of February 2019, Veo has raised $28 million in venture capital funding from investors such as Google Ventures, Lux Capital Management, Siemens Next47, Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund, SBI AI & Blockchain Fund, and Baidu Ventures.
Veo’s FreeMove is a comprehensive 3D sensing and control system that turns standard industrial robots into collaborative machines using advanced computer vision and 3D sensing.
Veo Robotics – Offerings Profile
Primary Target Markets – Manufacturing, Supply Chain
Technology / Product / Service(s) – Veo Robotics makes standard industrial robots responsive to humans so they can work safely side-by-side.
Veo’s FreeMove® is a comprehensive 3D sensing and control system that turns standard industrial robots into collaborative machines using advanced computer vision and 3D sensing. It is a combination of Veo’s proprietary software and fail-safe hardware, engineered for compliance with the ISO 13849 functional safety standard.
The Veo FreeMove® system is comprised of:
- FreeMove Sensors®: Wide Field of View, long range 3D Time-of-Flight sensors with dual imagers and novel per-pixel validation are positioned on the periphery of the workcell to capture rich image data of the entire space.
- The FreeMove Engine®: High-performance industrial computer with a proprietary safety architecture connects directly to the robot controller and the FreeMove Sensors®.
The FreeMove Engine uses the 3D data from the sensors to identify the workcell including the robot, workpiece, human and occlusions. It then tracks and calculates all possible future states and if a human is closer to the robot than the Protective Separation Distance, FreeMove® signals the robot to slow and stop by implementing Speed & Separation Monitoring (per ISO15066).
Value Proposition – The FreeMove® system allows manufacturers to design workcells with human-robot collaboration that are safer, easier to design and integrate, and more flexible than previously possible. This new flexibility offered through dynamic human-machine interaction enables manufacturers to continuously adapt to change and meet modern demands of mass-customization, higher product variability, expectations of higher quality, and faster product cycles.
The future of manufacturing is dynamic, flexible human-machine collaboration. With FreeMove®, the two most flexible resources in a factory, humans and robots, can at last safely share the same space, performing tasks to which they are best suited. This enables manufacturers to thrive in a future of continuous change by bringing flexibility from workcell level to the assembly line, and eventually to the entire factory.
Demand Drivers – To compete in a fast-evolving global market, manufacturers need to fundamentally transform the way they produce goods. They can tackle long-standing challenges by pairing human skill and creativity with the strength and speed of robots. It’s dynamic human-robot collaboration that can enable the kind of flexibility they need and allow manufacturers to easily adapt to shifting demand with new products and processes.
Veo’s FreeMove® solves this problem and enables industrial robots to work dynamically and safely alongside people so that manufacturing can become more flexible and manufacturers can thrive in a future of continuous change.
Veo has customers who are the world’s largest manufacturers of automobile and automobile components, household appliances, consumer packaged goods, trucks, oil & gas equipment, and more.
Veo Robotics – Business Model(s) and Competition
Business Model – Veo currently sells its product, FreeMove® ADK, directly to end-customers, and has plans to work through system integrators in the future.
Partners – Veo currently partners with the four major robot manufacturers FANUC, Yaskawa, ABB, and Kuka.
Customers – Veo has customers who are the world’s largest manufacturers of automobile and automobile components, household appliances, consumer packaged goods, trucks, oil & gas equipment, and more. At this time, Veo cannot disclose company names.
Competitive Landscape – Robotics standards outline four different methods of collaboration: safety rated monitored stop, hand guiding, Power and Force Limiting (PFL), and Speed and Separation Monitoring (SSM). The most prevalent form of robotics in collaborative manufacturing applications are PFL robots, often known as “collaborative robots” or “cobots”, which are equipped with tactile sensors that trigger stops when touched. However, it would be dangerous for people to attempt to touch and stop robots that are moving heavy or dangerous parts around quickly, so PFL robots have to be slow-moving and lightweight, and restricted to certain types of payloads and end effector designs.
Veo’s FreeMove® addresses the limitations of PFL robots by building a safe perception system that enables the much larger installed base of traditional industrial robots to work alongside humans.
Other safeguarding solutions for applications with human-robot collaboration, such as light curtains and area scanners, can require the consideration of an exhaustive set of scenarios and integration of multiple and disparate 2D safety systems to cover all the areas where a human could go, adding time and complexity to the process. FreeMove® is the first comprehensive 3D safeguarding solution that makes workcells with human-robot collaboration safer, easier to design and integrate, and more flexible than previously possible.
Veo Robotics – Recent News
- Veo Robotics Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum
- Veo Robotics’ FreeMove a RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award Winner
- Making Industrial Robots Collaborative
- Cageless Robot System Safeguards Workers
- Veo Robotics Launches FreeMove, its Production-Ready Vision System
- Robots are Breaking Out of their Cages on the Factory Floor, and Here’s What They are Doing