A Massachusetts startup is planning to capitalize on the lucrative demand for the guts of robots instead of the robots themselves.
Veo Robotics is developing the software and sensors for industrial robots, a product focus the Cambridge company calls the “brains for robotic systems.”
The cost of software, peripherals and systems engineering can account for three times as much as the actual robots, according to Germany’s International Federation of Robotics.
Last week, Veo Robotics completed a $12 million Series A round it plans to hire additional workers. It collected the capital from investors including Lux Capital, GV (previously called Google Ventures) and Next47, a venture firm created by Siemens AG, according to an Oct. 18 news release.
As part of the deal, Lux Capital partner Bilal Zuberi and GV general partner Andy Wheeler are slated to join Veo Robotics’ board of directors.
Veo Robotics, founded in 2016, employs 10 workers. It plans to hire additional engineers, product management and systems engineers and product development executives.
CEO Patrick Sobalvarro was previously an entrepreneur-in-residence for Siemens Venture Capital and the CEO of Massachusetts-based Upward Labs.
Veo Robotic’s technology is designed to enable industrial workers to “collaboratively work with machines, bringing more flexibility, productivity and precision to the manufacturing process,” the release indicates.
This year, industrial robot makers are projected to sell 346,000 units, an 18% increase compared with 2016. China, the Republic of Korea and Japan are the top-three buyers of robots, according to the Germany-based International Federation of Robotics.
Robot sales reached about $13.1 billion in 2016 and auto makers are the largest buyers of such technology. The total value including software and other related business increases the estimated market to $40 billion, the IFR reported.
The robotic market is dominated by players such as Japan-based Fanuc, Switzerland-based ABB, Yaskawa Electric and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, both based in Japan.