Elementary Robotics Raises $12.7M for Automated Manufacturing, Logistics

The company uses robotic computer vision to help manufacturers see what’s going on in their production lines.

Written by Gordon Gottsegen
Published on Jun. 30, 2020
Elementary Robotics Raises $12.7M for Automated Manufacturing, Logistics
Robot in manufacturing plant
Photo: Shutterstock

On Tuesday, robotics startup Elementary Robotics announced the closing of its $12.7 million Series A funding round. This comes a year and a half after the robotics company raised its $3.6 million seed funding round.

Founded in 2017, Elementary Robotics is building hardware and software to help manufacturing plants and logistics facilities automate their operations using robotics. Robots have been used in these settings for quite some time now, but what makes Elementary’s approach novel is the way it works with computer vision. By combining machine learning, artificial intelligence and computer vision, the company creates robots with the ability to “see.” This helps the robots tackle certain tasks that manufacturers haven’t been able to automate yet, such as quality control, visual inspection and traceability.

Plus, it’s worth mentioning that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many companies’ automation timelines. While factories were increasingly using robots before the pandemic, robots now have the added appeal of helping stop the spread of the virus. As we’ve seen from the outbreaks stemming from meat processing plants, factory-like settings can be a hotbed for COVID-19.

Toyota AI Ventures, which is the investment arm of the automaker, was an early investor in Elementary Robotics. Now the car company is doubling down its investment by participating in the Series A round.

“Toyota is always looking for ways to leverage innovative technologies to help our employees and improve the manufacturing process, and we’re excited to partner with Elementary in our Indiana plant,” Jason Puckett, the VP of manufacturing at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, said in a statement. “Elementary’s platform will bring value to our production lines by allowing us to automate traceability scans and add AI, machine vision and automation.”

The new round of funding will help Elementary Robotics scale the development and deployment of its products. The company also aims to deliver certain product features to its customers, including the ability to automate visual inspection to spot more defects, allow remote visibility into production lines, increase the amount of products that can be inspected at one time and so on. The company also says it’s adding more members to its team.

“Building Elementary has been a fantastic journey over the past three years, and I’ve enjoyed working with our world-class partners to develop scalable solutions to their problems, which our team is well-suited to solve,” CEO and founder Arye Barnehama said in a statement. “I’m extremely excited to go public with what we’re building, continue to support more companies with their quality and traceability needs, and grow the Elementary team to expand and deploy our innovative platform.”

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