Agility Robotics, a Corvallis, Ore.-based firm creating robots that work alongside individuals in warehouses, has raised a $150 million spherical from Amazon and different backers.
DCVC and Playground World led the spherical, which included the newly introduced Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, a $1 billion enterprise fund that Amazon simply revealed to put money into startups constructing buyer success, logistics, and provide chain applied sciences.
Based in 2015, Agility started transport its “Digit” robotic to prospects in 2018 and inked a cope with Ford in 2020. Its robots may also help firms transfer packages and unload tractor trailers. They stroll ahead, backward, side-to-side, up and down inclines, throughout unstructured terrain, and might flip in place or crouch-walk.
“Unprecedented shopper and company demand have created a rare want for robots to help individuals within the office,” Damion Shelton, CEO of Agility Robotics, stated in a press release.
Agility will increase its places of work in Oregon and Silicon Valley, and in addition simply opened a brand new hub in Pittsburgh, Pa., the place Shelton relies. He was beforehand CTO at threeRivers 3D, and earned his Ph.D in robotics from Carnegie Mellon College in Pittsburgh.
Shelton met Agility’s CTO, Jonathan Hurst, at CMU; Hurst was a graduate pupil there and is at the moment a robotics professor at Oregon State College. They based the corporate with Mikhail Jones, who was a pupil of Hurst’s at OSU.
In a weblog publish, Hurst wrote that “the necessity for versatile automation is acute,” noting the labor scarcity and warehouse employee accidents, along with provide chain delays and unpredictable shopper demand amid the pandemic.
“To unravel this complicated labor puzzle, robots are wanted to raise the burden of laborious, handbook labor, present workforce flexibility, and allow individuals to do work that requires creativity and judgment – inherently human traits,” Hurst wrote.
The corporate employs round 85 individuals and expects to double headcount by 2024.
Agility was one in every of 5 preliminary startups that landed funding from Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund.
“Agility’s method to designing robotics for a blended workforce is really distinctive and might have a major ripple impact for a variety of industries, and we hope others observe swimsuit to speed up innovation on this manner,” Katherine Chen, head of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, stated in a press release.