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Rightbot Technologies Inc., a robotics startup that specializes in unstructured load handling, has emerged from stealth with $6.25 million in funding. Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund led the investment.
The Newark, New Jersey-based company said its robot can address a longstanding logistics challenge: the unloading of trucks, trailers, and containers. Rightbot’s flagship robot uses a suction gripper to move unstructured loads, which can be varied and unpredictable.
“At Rightbot, we are redefining the boundaries of robotics in logistics,” said Abhinav Warrier, co-founder and chief technology officer of Rightbot, in a release.
“Our technology is not just an incremental improvement, but [also] a radical reimagining of how robotics can enhance operational efficiency in complex environments,” he said. “We’re not just developing robots; we’re crafting a new paradigm in handling unstructured loads.”
Warrier, who previously worked at GreyOrange, co-founded Rigthbot with Anurag Dutta, a former consultant at Kearney. The company said it will use its latest funding to advance its proprietary technology, scale operations, and expand its team.
Rightbot, others reach for unstructured unloading
Loading and unloading unstructured loads has consistently been a challenge for robotics developers. Rightbot’s founders said they wanted to tackle it because they knew they would be solving a specific and difficult problem.
“We realized that an existing robot arm was not going to solve this problem,” stated Dutta, Rightbot’s CEO. “We set out to understand the customer problem and solve it with a customized robot”
“We’re addressing a challenge that has long been a bottleneck in logistics efficiency,” he added. “Our innovative blend of robotics and AI provides a much-needed solution to the unpredictability of unstructured load handling.”
This isn’t a completely untapped application, however. Rightbot faces competition from companies like Boston Dynamics, which recently rolled out multipick capabilities for its Stretch robot; Pickle Robot, which is collaborating with Yusen Logistics; and Mujin, which recently raised $104 million in Series C funding.
“We have seen the Rightbot team up close,” said Duncan Turner, general partner at SOSV, an early backer of Rightbot, last week. “They have an amazing knack of finding practical and innovative solutions to complex problems. And the ability to take these solutions from ideas to on-ground reality in record time with high frugality.”
Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund makes Round 2 investments
In addition to Amazon’s Industrial Innovation Fund and SOSV, Entrepreneur First and other investors participated in Rightbot’s latest round. Flipkart, a part of Walmart, was also an early backer of the company.
Amazon launched its Industrial Innovation Fund in April 2022, with the goal of investing $1 billion in emerging technology companies. Its first round of investments included companies such as Agility Robotics, BionicHIVE, and Veo Robotics.
It has been a bit of a slow start for the fund. As of June 2023, Amazon had only invested $110 million of its $1 billion in capital. More recently, the fund recently led Instock’s expanded seed round. Instock offers an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) that uses modular racking and mobile robots to pick and pack orders.
While Amazon said the goal of its fund is to improve the safety, reliability, and speed of logistics, it could also be using the fund to shop around for systems it can use in its own warehouses.
Earlier this year, the company announced that it would be testing Agility’s Digit humanoid robot in its warehouses. Amazon could also adopt the other technologies in which its fund has invested in the coming years.