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Path Robotics today raised $56 million in Series B funding for its autonomous welding system. Founded in 2014, the Columbus, Ohio-based company has now raised $71 million in funding. This latest round was led by Addition and saw participation from returning investors Drive Capital, Basis Set, and Lemnos Lab.
The company’s robotic welding systems use proprietary scanning and computer vision technology to recognize and adjust to different parts. The systems can identify the seams that need to be welded by scanning the parts and creating a 3D model of each one. Path Robotics said its technology analyzes where a weld is needed and generates all the planning to execute a clean weld. It also claims its system don’t require skilled welders or programmers.
“Current industrial robotics have very little ability to understand their environment and the task at hand. Most robots merely repeat what they are told and have no ability to improve themselves. Our goal is to change this. The future of manufacturing hinges on highly capable robotics,” said Andrew Lonsberry, CEO, Path Robotics.
Here is a video demoing the automated welding technology:
Path Robotics has multiple robotic welding systems. The AW-2 brings autonomous finish welding to small and mid-size parts and eliminates the need for rigid fixturing and precise part placement. The AW-3 brings autonomous finish welding to longer parts that don’t fit in smaller welding cells. The AW-3 can have one or two welding zones, where one side can weld while the other side loads and unloads.
“Path Robotics is solving a complex and critical problem in our country by bridging the gap between the supply of skilled welders and demand,” said Lee Fixel of Addition. “We look forward to supporting the company as it works to lead American manufacturing into the future.”
The number of people entering the welding workforce in America continues to fall while the average age of welders continues to grow. According to Path Robotics, the demand for welders is increasing at 3% per year while the supply is decreasing, creating a shortage in the American welding workforce of 400,000 skilled welders by 2024.