Agility Robotics Inc., Oregon-based robotics startup, today announcement that it closed a $150 million funding round led by DCVC and Playground Global.
The Series B round also included participation from half a dozen other backers, including Amazon.com Inc.’s new Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund. The e-commerce and tech giant announcement the investment vehicle earlier this week. Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund will invest $1 billion in companies developing technologies that can improve worker safety throughout organizations’ supply chains and increase operational efficiency.
Agility Robotics has developed a bipedal robot called Digit for use in environments such as e-commerce warehouses. Digit (pictured) has a built-in battery that allows it to run for up to three hours per charge. The robot can pick up boxes, place them on a shelf, transport goods from one part of a warehouse to another, and automatically navigate around obstacles.
Agility Robotics was founded in 2015 by CEO Damion Shelton and Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Hurst. The startup launched its first robot, the predecessor to Digit, in 2017. Three years later, Agility Robotics signed an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to sell its first two Digit robots to the automaker.
Ford declared back when he planned to assess whether Digit could be used for parcel delivery. The idea is for robots to transport goods from a delivery vehicle to customers’ doorsteps. Additionally, Ford said it intends to explore possibilities for synchronizing data such as maps between its vehicles and Agile Robotics robots.
“Unprecedented consumer and business demand has created an extraordinary need for robots to support people in the workplace,” Shelton said.
The startup’s recently closed $150 million funding round will support its commercialization efforts.
Agility Robotics is currently developing “our most advanced robot yet – a fully commercialized robot that we will begin selling to qualified companies later this year,” Hurst detailed in a statement. blog post. “This robot will perform tasks that are traditionally difficult to automate, such as depalletizing warehouse boxes and unloading tractor-trailers.”
To support its commercialization efforts, Agility Robotics will use the new funding to add more production capacity and accelerate engineering initiatives. The startup plans to double its workforce by 2024.
Agility Robotics is the latest in a string of robotics startups to raise funds in recent months. Earlier this year, the French company Exotec SAS raised $335 million to broaden adoption of its warehouse automation platform, which includes robots, software, goods storage equipment and other components. Previously, Rapid Robotics Inc. farm an investment of $36.7 million to develop robotic arms for the industrial sector.