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Roboto AI, a company working to create tools to help robotics developers go from a prototype to a reliable production system, emerged from stealth with $4.8 million in Seed funding. Unusual Ventures led the round, which also included the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) and FUSE Ventures. Roboto AI is also partnering with researchers and professors at the ETH Zürich AI Center.
Robotics companies oftentimes have to develop all of their infrastructure, anything from custom hardware to data infrastructure in-house. This could cost startups crucial time and money that could be spent getting their systems into the world. Roboto AI hopes to make development easier by providing a platform that supports robotics data.
The company’s founders, Benji Barash (CEO) and Yves Albers-Schoenberg (CTO) have experience building this kind of infrastructure from their time at Amazon Robotics. The two used to spend entire days writing scripts to filter and transform sensor data so they could debug system failures, evaluate performance and create new algorithms.
Roboto AI is working to create a data platform that allows users to easily search across modalities using natural language. The company currently has a free demo available that uses data from nuScenes, a large-scale, autonomous driving dataset used by engineers and researchers, for those interested in testing an early version of Roboto. With the sandbox, users can not only use natural language to search for the data they need, but they can also perform searches on graphical time-series signals.
Roboto AI was founded in 2022 when it spun out of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. It is based in Seattle, Washington.
“Robotics is hard, but it shouldn’t be this hard. We want to catalyze progress in the robotics industry and see robots get to production faster by getting AI to do the dirty work for us,” the founders wrote in a blog. “We’re building Roboto to be an out-of-the-box solution to the data challenges engineers face daily and we’re excited to have the support of an incredible group of advisors and investors to make it happen. We’re building new AI-powered tools for anyone working with sensor or log data; think copilot for robotics.”