Elementary Robotics Inc., which has developed a “full stack” of hardware and software for industrial automation, today said that it has raised $12.7 million in Series A funding. The Los Angeles-based startup applies machine learning and computer vision to automate quality and traceability workflows in visual inspections.
Manufacturers today are dealing with an array of challenges to keep up, including securing and retaining skilled labor, producing high-quality products at larger volumes and lower prices, and implementing remote production monitoring, said Elementary.
Today’s challenges also require evolving strategies to support employee health and safety, such as integrating proper social distancing into factories during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the company. Visual inspection and traceability have traditionally been especially difficult to automate, often resulting in lower throughput, added headcount, high turnover, inconsistent results, and low data tracking.
Elementary Robotics focuses on quality, traceability
Elementary Robotics said its products use deep learning to find defects, including ones that manufacturers didn’t even know to look for. The company said its platform is easy to set up, provides traceable data in the cloud, and allows for human inspectors to be kept in the loop to further train the system over time.
Elementary was founded in 2017 by veterans in Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, augmented reality, and robotics from Qualcomm, Caltech, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SpaceX, and Art Center College of Design. It was incubated at Idealab in Pasadena, Calif.
“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,” said Arye Barnehama, founder and CEO of Elementary Robotics. “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.”
- Transition from sample-based inspection to 100% inspection
- Remote visibility into quality and production lines
- Automation of known visual inspections and discovery of new defects, resulting in decreased scrap rates
- Standardization of inspection tasks and ease of duplication across different factories and production lines in an affordable manner
Capital to support further development
Threshold Ventures, formerly DFJ, led the funding round, with participation from existing investors Fika Ventures, Fathom Capital, Ubiquity Ventures, and Toyota AI Ventures. Elementary Robotics raised $3.6 million in seed funding in December 2018.
Threshold Ventures partner Mo Islam has joined Elementary Robotics’ board of directors. The startup, which has 25 employees, said it plans to use the new capital to continue developing and deploying its automation products at scale.
“Elementary Robotics is one of a handful of ‘new wave’ intelligent automation companies contending that the application of AI and robotics will enable a novel set of functions that legacy providers are ill-equipped to address,” said Islam. “We were immediately impressed with Elementary’s true software-first approach and its ability to deliver on it.”