Thursday, September 21, 2023
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This week in robotics: An EU hurdle in Amazon’s iRobot purchase, while fresh investment keeps the hot drone summer going

New funding for startup firms was excellent news for the robotics industry this week, but two established participants in the industry encountered a problem.

The European Union is currently conducting a thorough investigation into Amazon’s possible $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot, which had previously received approval from the U.K. antitrust authorities.

In the most recent issue of his Actuator newsletter, our go-to robotics specialist Brian Heater offers some extra analysis on the deal and pays tribute to the late Joanne Pransky. Here, you can subscribe to receive those updates every Thursday.

Continue scrolling to see the remainder of the robotics news from the previous week.

Verity’s $11 million keeps the summer heat on drones.

In addition to its $32 million Series B from back in March, the Swiss business Verity has announced a fresh round of funding.

The company received a lot of press for its agreement with Ikea, which involved installing 100 of its drones in 16 warehouses in Europe. This round of funding will be used to expand in order to take advantage of the expanding market for supply chain automation.

Automated wildfire detection generates an extra $17 million

Pano AI has been working on cameras that can recognize wildfires automatically. Most recently, one of these cameras caught and sent early warnings about the Kutch Road Fire 14 minutes before the initial 911 call.

In addition, Pano AI announced a $17 million extension to its $20 million Series A, citing the growing threat that wildfires are posing for everyone in the face of rising temperatures.

After the BJ Wholesale agreement, Simbe’s funding rises to $54M.

Simbe has concentrated on the stores themselves, with its robots roving through stores to monitor goods within a customer’s reach, while Verity’s drones target warehouses.

Following its $26 million Series A investment round from late 2019, the firm has today announced a new round of funding totaling $28 million. This comes shortly after the company secured a deal to install its Tally robots in all BJ Wholesale Club locations.

Ocean mapping goals of Bedrock receive $25 million in financing

Surveying, inspection, and monitoring are necessary for every construction project, and this is also true for the growing number of undersea projects brought on by the need for offshore wind.

Bedrock recently announced an additional $25.5 million in funding to further the mission of its autonomous underwater vehicles, which are intended to perform that task instead of expensive crewed survey ships.

It’s interesting to note that their new emphasis is on demonstrating the business viability of selling the data they get through their autonomous explorers rather than on the gear itself.

Subscribing to Actuator will deliver the weekly email to your mailbox every week, along with additional commentary and insights from Brian Heater on the most recent robotics news.




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