Rovenso SA, which is building robots for security monitoring, safety assessment, and anomaly detection, this week announced that it has raised $2.34 million in seed funding. The Swiss startup said it plans to use the funding to accelerate the development of its technology, refine its prototypes, and begin more pilot projects with industrial partners.
Rovenso spun out of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2016 and shares offices and a workshop with accelerator HAX.co in Shenzhen, China. Its ROVéo mobile robot is designed to autonomously patrol, use multimodal sensor fusion to detect anomalies, and adapt to stairs and difficult terrain both inside and outside industrial sites. The company was named a “European startup to watch” by The Robot Report.
Nivalis Group led the round, with participation from SOSV (Sean O’Sullivan Ventures), the $700 million operator of accelerators around the world, including HAX in Shenzhen and San Francisco for hardware.
“We saw the potential of Rovenso, when Lucian Cucu, Beat Geissmann, and Thomas Estier had nothing but their energy and a small 3D-printed robot that was simply climbing stairs,” stated Cyril Ebersweiler, general partner at SOSV.
“Rovenso has a first-rate team capable of carrying out their high ambitions,” said Nicolas Corsi, CEO of Nivalis Group. “We decided to be an early-stage investor because we see Rovenso’s current offer as a platform to invent new services and business models in the emerging market of fully autonomous security and safety robots.”
Rovenso plans to expand
Rovenso said the new funds will enable it to double the size of its research and development team at Technology Park Le Vivier, where Nivalis Group has its headquarters. The technology park offers an ideal setting for running intensive tests with the robots patrolling around the clock in a real environment, said the company.
“Our robots perform security and safety monitoring of industrial sites. Concretely, they patrol fully autonomously inside and outside industrial buildings, detecting intrusions or thefts,” explained Thomas Estier, CEO of Rovenso. “They also detect anomalies such as hot spots [indicating the start of fires] and liquid or gas leaks that could put people’s lives at risk.”
“Over the next two years, we will mainly focus our R&D efforts on the enhancement of our multimodal anomaly detection system which combines precise volumetry, acoustic analysis, as well as thermal and visual features extraction,” added Lucian Cucu, chief technology officer at Rovenso.
The company said the between it and Nivalis Group in terms of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine vision will shorten it’s time to market.