Exyn Technologies, a Philadelphia-based developer of aerial autonomy software for drones, has raised $16 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Centricus, with Yamaha Motors Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Corecam Family Office, and Red and Blue Ventures newly participating, and IP Group Plc reinvesting. Exyn’s total funding to date is now over $20 million.
Founded in 2014 as a spin-off of the GRASP Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, Exyn is developing an industrial-grade solution that enables drones to fly autonomously in GPS-denied environments. Sold as a complete solution, Exyn’s Advanced Autonomous Aerial Robots (A3Rs) deployed commercially in the field this past year.
Exyn is working with customers in mining and defense and receiving growing demand for its technology from new industries and applications.
“In the mining industry alone, Exyn has demonstrated the potential to revolutionize efficiency, increase productivity, and dramatically reduce human exposure to unsafe environments,” said Nader Elm, Exyn’s CEO. “And that’s just one application. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of how impactful true autonomy will be.”
Exyn’s A3Rs operate without the need for a pilot, any prior information, or any communication during its flights. With Exyn’s A3Rs, companies can safely acquire previously inaccessible high-value data, such as point clouds, imagery, gas readings, and more, in GPS-denied environments like underground mines and indoor buildings.
Exyn’s system uses multiple sensors to perceive its environment – cameras, LiDAR, radar, and RGBD – and late-stage sensor fusion that compiles the data in real time to estimate a drone’s position and orientation relative to where it started. Exyn uses LiDAR as the primary sensor for SLAM and for part of the system’s state estimation capabilities. Exyn said it uses machine learning and deep neural networks to help interpret the data and understand the environment.
Exyn said it will use the new funding to focus on commercial growth by increasing its customer base, expanding its global reach and developing offerings for customers in new industries. The funding will also accelerate its technology development to bring to market advanced swarming capabilities and move its autonomy intelligence to ground-based robots.