From sci-fi movies depicting the dystopian future of robotics to robots being our reality in current times, we all have accepted a futuristic world with human-robot collaboration. Moreover, businesses, big organizations, rising startups, and even investors are realizing the importance of automated technology in the contemporary market. In the present scenario of a pandemic where chaos and quarantine are becoming a new normal for people, innovative robots out there are serving mankind with great purpose. They are being deployed in various hospitals to assist doctors and nurses in providing treatment coronavirus patients. Amid these circumstances, more and more robotics-powered startups and businesses are growing to bring about a revolution in the collaborative world of humans and machines.
Therefore, here are top robotics funding and investments that took place in March 2020, aiding the upcoming healthcare innovations and significant others.
Diligent Robotics last month announced the close of a $10 million round to expand its fleet of nurse assistant robots for hospitals. The round was led by DNX Ventures, with participation from True Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, Grit Ventures, E14 Fund, and Promus Ventures.
Moxi is designed to reduce nurse workloads by handling tasks like collecting supplies, gathering soiled linens, and delivering fresh ones, and it’s coming to market during the COVID-19 crisis when nurses are in short supply. In addition to tackling mundane aspects of the job, the robot can also help reduce health care professionals’ exposure to disease.
Moxi was created by Diligent Robotics at the University of Texas, Austin by CEO Dr. Andrea Thomaz, a roboticist and professor who previously ran the Georgia Tech Socially Intelligent Machines Lab.
“It’s a really good time to be working on this problem,” Thomaz told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “Now more than ever there’s kind of a spotlight on how overworked [nurses are] and what a shortage there is of frontline hospital staff, so we’re anxious to get more robots out there to help.”
Moreover, Dexai Robotics, an artificial intelligence, and robotics company focused on commercial kitchen automation, says it has raised $5.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round, led by Hyperplane Venture Capital.
New investors Rho Capital, Harlem Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and NextView Ventures also participated in this financing round. Vivjan Myrto, a managing partner at Hyperplane, joined Dexai’s board of directors.
The company will use the funding to expand its engineering, sales, and product teams, allowing it to serve new cuisines and fuel its growth in the foodservice space.
Dexai was born out of research collaboration in artificial intelligence for robotics among researchers at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, MIT, and Harvard.
This work, led by David Johnson, Dexai’s CEO and co-founder, resulted in breakthrough software innovations that enabled robots to control, for the first time, deformable materials such as ice cream, sushi-grade tuna, pico de gallo, and so on.
Healthcare software startup Olive has closed a $51 million funding round to scale its AI-enabled robotic process automation solution.
The funding round was led by General Catalyst with existing investors Drive Capital, Oak HC/FT, and Ascension Ventures also participating. The company has raised about $123.8 million to date.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company also announced Ronald Paulus, M.D., former president and CEO of Mission Health, will join its board.
The funding will enable Olive to accelerate its growth, and the company plans to use the financing to invest in R&D and engineering, CEO Sean Lane told FierceHealthcare.
Furthermore, Israeli robotic orthopedic device developer OrthoSpin has raised $5 million in a Series B financing round. OrthoSpin is a portfolio company of The Trendlines Group which led the round together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.
The company is developing a robotic, digitally-enabled external fixation system for orthopedic treatments. External fixation devices are a common treatment choice for bone lengthening, setting complex fractures, and correcting deformities.
OrthoSpin CEO Oren Cohen said, “We are delighted to have this investment and support from JJDC and Trendlines as we continue the development of OrthoSpin’s Gen 1 and Gen 2 systems. We continue to receive very promising feedback from physicians in the field regarding the Gen 1 system. The funding and close ongoing relationship with JJDC will enable us to accelerate Gen 2 product development and move into clinical use with the Gen 2 system later this year. This investment is an important step in bringing OrthoSpin’s system to market.”