Machinery : Industrial Robot : Piece Picking
Soft Robotics is an industry-leading and award-winning technology company that designs and builds automated picking solutions using proprietary soft robotic grippers, 3D machine perception, and mGripAI™ artificial intelligence. The company’s transformational robotic automation solutions enable food processors solve the hardest piece picking problems in the food and beverage industry. We are dedicated to constant innovation and collaboration and are proud to be the face of the rapidly growing food automation industry.
Soft Robotics Inc. secures $26M in first close of Series C led by Tyson Ventures. Marel and Johnsonville also invest and join Soft Robotics powerful syndicate.
Soft Robotics Inc. (SRI) announced today that it raised $26M in an initial Series C closing and will use the funds to expand commercial deployment of its mGripAI™ robotic picking solutions. mGripAI 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. This unprecedented combination of robotic “hands,” “eyes,” and “brains” enables, for the first time, the use of high-speed industrial arms to automate bulk picking processes throughout protein, produce, dairy, baked goods, and prepared foods operations.
Soft Robotics’ Series C was led by Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), and brings new investors, Marel (AEX:MAREL) and Johnsonville, into SRI’s powerful investor syndicate. SRI reported that it closed the first $26M of an undisclosed-size round with participation from these new investors and strong participation from existing investors.
Tyson invests in AI-enabled robotics firm to boost worker productivity
Automating meat factories has long been a difficult feat because it is costly and carcasses come in varying sizes so it can be hard for robots to cut and work with all types accurately. But as the coronavirus ravaged meat plants, forcing many to temporarily shutter as thousands of workers got sick, more companies accelerated their plans for automation. Meat and poultry companies also are automating certain tasks that can be repetitious or prone to injury, such as moving or loading boxes.
Soft Robotics’ SoftAI technology uses AI and 3D vision to maneuver the company’s mGrip robotic grippers with human-like hand-eye coordination. The technology allows the automation of bulk picking for fragile and irregularly shaped proteins, produce and bakery items, according to the company. Tyson Foods is an existing user of Soft Robotics’ software.