Soft Robotics has raised $26 million in a Series C funding round to expand the deployment of its mGripAI robotic picking solutions.
According to Soft Robotics, the new technology is an “easy-to-integrate automation package that combines ultra-fast 3D vision and artificial intelligence technologies with patented and proven, IP69K-rated, soft grasping to give industrial robots the hand-eye coordination of humans”. Its combination of robotic hands, eyes and brains allows the use of high-speed industrial arms to do bulk-picking processes throughout the protein, produce, dairy, baked goods and prepared foods operations.
The funding round was led by Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, and saw new investors Marel and Johnsonville brought into the Soft Robotics’ business.
Jeff Beck, chief executive officer of Soft Robotics, said: “We’re delighted that some of the world’s leaders in the food production and automation markets have decided to join existing investors in supporting SRI’s continuing growth journey. [Soft Robotics’] technologies are increasingly crucial to enabling and scaling efficient and safe production of several food categories. This round of growth capital strengthens SRI’s ability to rapidly develop, deploy and support those technologies.”
Mark Chiappetta, chief operating officer of Soft Robotics, commented: “For decades, food producers have been unable to adopt industrial robot arms to automate their most labour-intensive, bulk production processes. mGripAI, with its revolutionary perception and AI, unlocks the use of industrial robots in nearly all stages of food production increasing throughput, improving food quality, reducing facility footprint, and breaking the critical dependency on labour”.
Rahul Ray, senior director of Tyson Ventures, added:: “At Tyson, we are continually exploring new areas in automation that can enhance safety and increase the productivity of our team members. Soft Robotics’ revolutionary robotic technology, computer vision and AI platform have the potential to transform the food industry and will play a key role in any company’s automation journey.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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