Croatian robot maker Gideon Brothers today unveiled its first commercial product, an autonomous logistics robot designed to move safely around people, equipment, and other mobile machines. The company also announced its investors, who have raised more than $2.5 million in funding since its 2017 founding.
Pilot projects for Croatian multinational firms Atlantic Grupa, Orbico, and Tokić will utilize Gideon Brothers‘ self-driving robot, which can move payloads up to 800 kg (1763.7 lb.). The robot includes a “Robot Autonomy System” that “combines deep learning with stereoscopic cameras to create the next generation of robot vision that is as reliable 10 ten times cheaper than lidar and – unlike lidar – is data-rich,” the company said in a statement. The pilot programs will work with the companies moving food products, consumer electronics, and automotive parts for their respective distributors.
Investors in the company include Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder and chairman of TransferWise, as well as LocalGlobe, Hardware Club, Plug and Play Ventures, SparkLabs Global Ventures, and other international investors. The latest round of funding in Q3 2018 raised €1.72 million ($1.95 million) in seed round funding.
“We are lucky to be living through extraordinary times – what was only a dream for many robotics thinkers and dreamers in past decades and centuries is now rapidly unfolding in our days,” said Matija Kopić, CEO of Gideon Brothers. “The support from our investors and customers confirms our conviction that autonomous robots powered by visual perception will profoundly – and positively – transform our human society.”
“The path toward a brighter, more productive and more fulfilling future won’t be easy,” he added. “But humans and machines together, working in harmony, can achieve great things. That’s the vision of the future we’re building at Gideon Brothers, one step at a time.”
The three Croatian companies taking part in the robot rollout have a combined revenue of more than €3 billion ($3.41 billion), operating in more than 30 countries. Atlantic Grupa is one of the largest food companies in the region, Orbico is the largest CEE distributor of international brands, and Tokić is the largest automotive spare parts retailer and franchiser in the region, Gideon Brothers said.
“We win consistently because we build simple and flexible organizations adaptable to change,” said Branko Roglić, owner and president of Orbico’s supervisory board. “Changes will only accelerate in the future and our partnership with Gideon Brothers gives us the AI and robotics tools to shape the future. Gideon Brothers brings us intelligent automation, which will ensure that we continue winning well into the future.”
Gideon Brothers has offices in Zagreb and Osijek, and includes a 41-person team with five Ph.D.s and 26 masters of robotics hardware and AI software.
The logistics and warehouse robot market continues to grow as more startups enter the space. Research firm Technavio is predicting a $3.4 billion market in this space by 2022.