Humatics Corp., which makes microlocation technology for systems including autonomous vehicles and mobile robots, today announced that it has secured Series B funding of $30 million. The company said it plans to scale its submillimeter Milo Microlocation System and expand its Rail Navigation System for the transit industry, among other investments.
Founded by experts in artificial intelligence-assisted piloting, autonomous navigation, and high-precision radar, Humatics is based in Waltham, Mass., and has an office in Huntsville, Ala. The company said it has built the first microlocation system combining proprietary, industrial-grade ultra-wideband (UWB) with sensors and data. It also claimed to have built the first microlocation-on-a-chip technology for millimeter-scale tracking in a variety of industries.
“Humatics new microlocation chip represents a breakthrough in precise, inexpensive location,” said Ray Stata, co-founder and chairman at Analog Devices. “It is a core technology that will generate valuable new products for years to come, in manufacturing, robotics, medical, aerospace, and more.”
Applying microlocation across industries
Humatics said its Milo Microlocation System is the first of its kind to combine proprietary, industrial-grade, ultra-wideband, sensors, and data, delivering best-in-class range. Milo can help identify where objects are in relation to one another with millimeter precision, according to the company.
The technology is useful in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and construction, among other applications, said Humatics. For instance, in manufacturing, it can improve the speed and accuracy of autonomous line-side delivery, enabling workers to take on other high-value tasks. Milo can also facilitate tool endpoint tracking for faster and better-quality assembly procedures.
Humatics said its technology could also transform how surgeries are conducted, how secure spaces are managed, and how construction tools and sites follow plans.
“With its new millimeter-wave chip, Humatics has invented a novel location technology with unmatched precision and size,” said Thomas Lee, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University. “It is uniquely positioned to provide inexpensive, ubiquitous location as a core component of the Internet of everything. It’s a pleasure to be part of this journey with Humatics and see customers’ excitement over this technology.”
Rail helps modernize mass transit
Humatics added that its products including the Rail Navigation System can improve transit vehicle navigation and positioning. This can enable trains to run closer together, speeding up throughput and improving safety in some of the nation’s busiest urban environments, it said. In addition, Humatics said these upgrades can help transit systems recover from COVID-19 slowdowns.
The company provided the underlying technology behind two out of the four winners in the Signaling category for the MTA Genius Transit Challenge. Last year, it completed a successful pilot with the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for signal modernization. Humatics installed its UWB technology on 5.5 miles of track in New York City’s subway system. It said the pilot demonstrated the technology’s durability and ease of installation.
“Humatics has been Siemens Mobility’s valuable and reliable partner for the past two years,” said a spokesperson at Siemens Mobility. “Humatics’ team has an unmatched knowledge of the UWB technology and its possible applications in rail transportation.”
Humatics plans expansion beyond New York
Blackhorn Ventures led Humatics’ Series B funding, with participation Tenfore Holdings, Fontinalis Partners, Airbus Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Presidio Ventures. The $30 million investment grows the company’s funding by a third, bringing its total raised to over $80 million.
“This visionary $30 million investment will help bring Humatics microlocation technology to scale across the globe,” stated David Mindell, CEO of Humatics. “Microlocation technology is useful especially now, as we try to keep each other safe by providing space and keeping people and goods moving.”
“Humatics’ focus on developing location and navigation technology for the transit space and millimeter-scale precise positioning technology for manufacturing, logistics, construction, and medical unlocks unprecedented collaboration between humans, machines, and infrastructure,” said Trevor Zimmerman, managing partner of Blackhorn Ventures.
Late last year, the company hired former Cisco executive Shawn Henry as senior vice president of product and engineering, and he was recently promoted to president and chief operating officer. In June 2020, Humatics named Joffrey Lauthier as to lead its New York team as director of sales, rail, and transit. It also plans to expand its transportation presence beyond New York and hire more employees.
“New technologies are needed to transform our outdated infrastructure, not simply replace it in kind,” said Jeffrey Parker, infrastructure development investor and advisor. “Innovations in how we conceptualize, build, and manage infrastructure across multiple sectors to reduce costs, enhance benefits, and improve safety are being made possible by Humatics’ field-proven microlocation products.”