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Mech-Mind Robotics Technologies Ltd., which has developed artificial intelligence for industrial robots, announced that it has completed a $15 million Series B+ funding round. The Beijing-based company said it plans to use the latest capital to accelerate the commercialization of its technology and global marketing, as well as to continuously expand its business capacity.
According to the International Federation of Robotics‘ “World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots” report, there are a record 2.7 million industrial robots operating in factories around the world. However, less than 1% of those currently in the market are equipped with AI abilities. Mech-Mind claimed that it is the first company “to realize the combination of AI and industrial robotics in real-life scenarios on a large scale for industry players in automotive, home appliances, steel, food, logistics, hospitals, and banks.”
Mech-Mind was founded in 2016 and applies AI and robotics to palletizing, assembly, gluing, and locating. The startup said it provides rapid development and cost-effective solutions for 200 manufacturing, logistics, and other customers in 10 countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and the U.S.
Applying AI to industrial pain points
Mech-Mind Robotics said it uses deep learning, 3D vision, and motion-planning technology to put intelligence into industrial automation. The startup said its team of engineers have built an all-in-one solution for end users.
“We intend to solve pain points in industries with our capabilities,” stated Tianlan Shao, founder and CEO of Mech-Mind Robotics. “For example, one major pain point existing for decades in many industries in logistics or manufacturing scenarios is picking under complex scenarios. Traditionally, complex picking activities such as palletizing and de-palletizing, order picking, parcel loading, and machine tending are all pure manual work, which is costly, inefficient, and not usually welcomed by workers because of its repetitiveness and tediousness. We are now equipping industrial robots with our AI abilities, which can in turn make what seemed impossible possible and affordable.”
“Mech-Mind will empower local integrators with full AI abilities,” he added. “We will provide them with key components of robot intelligence including 3D cameras, software, and AI algorithms. We offer highly standardized and easy-to-deploy hardware and software products to integrators that they don’t need to have strong AI abilities by themselves.”
“With our empowerment, integrators can now deliver solutions that were considered very advanced and complex, such as vision-guided palletizing and de-palletizing, vision-guided machine tending, vision-guided order picking, and vision-guided assembly or locating,” said Shao.
Mech-Mind touts funding as validation
Sequoia Capital China and Source Code Capital backed Mech-Mind Robotics, whose Series B+ round brings its total funding to approximately $40 million. The company had previously announced $14 million in Series B funding in March.
Mech-Mind said the success of this round reflects its “rapid development, enormous potential, superior quality, and advanced technological solutions.” It works with robotics brands including ABB, FANUC, KUKA, and Yaskawa, plus Staubli, Techman Robot, and Universal Robots.
Given the room for potential growth within diverse industrial automation applications, Mech-Mind was named in The Information‘s list of the 50 Most Promising Startups last week. It also ranked third in the TI50 China Selection.