Trifo Inc. today announced that it has raised Series B funding of $15 million and that its new Lucy robotic vacuum cleaner is now available. The robot includes surveillance technology for smart home security.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Trifo was founded in 2016 and is building integrated hardware and software systems with sensing and decision-making capabilities for home environments. The company said its robots combine perception, communications, and artificial intelligence technologies.
Trifo holds more than 50 U.S. and Chinese patents and has filed for more than 70 additional patents globally. The startup’s proprietary algorithms have been published at events such as the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
Funding for home robotics vision
Trifo’s Series B round brings its total funding to $26 million. Series B investors included Yidu Cloud, Tsinghua AI Fund, and Matrix Partners. The company said it plans to use the funding to continue hardware and software development, expansion into U.S. and European markets, and hiring talent.
“Trifo has quickly developed highly advanced algorithms and AI-based robotic intelligence and monetized these into commercially-viable products,” stated Yicheng Li, a partner at Tsinghua AI Fund. “We are eager to support the company … as it expands its offering into a complete ecosystem of home robots to serve a wide range of people’s needs.”
“We support Trifo’s vision for AI home robots, which goes beyond traditional cleaning capabilities,” said Rick Liang, senior vice president of Yidu Cloud. “With the strategic investment in Trifo, we look forward to enhancing the home robot experience into a new dimension — i.e., healthy home and consumer-level health monitoring.”
Trifo addresses smart-home demands
“Revenue for smart home products globally will grow to $28.4 billion in 2020, up 54% from $18.5 billion in 2018, and the feature set of these devices continues to improve,” said Zhe Zhang, Trifo’s founder and CEO. “Lucy reflects the evolution of our products from robot vacuums to AIoT-enabled home robots that can assist with a wide range of features that help people with their life and work.”
In a recent survey of more than 500 consumers, Clutch found that smart home appliances are the connected devices people own and use the most. Nearly two-thirds of people (67%) own a smart home appliance, and 49% use smart home appliances more than other connected devices.
Lucy joins family
Lucy joins Trifo robot vacuums Ironpie and Max, and it includes the following features:
- Two cameras for round-the-clock surveillance – Lucy has a 1080P HDR color camera for daytime use and a second active depth sensor for mobile night vision. “Lucy utilizes RGB and depth information like no other home robot for high precision position tracking, indoor mapping, and super intelligent self-decision-making,” said Trifo.
- Room recognition – Lucy is the first smart home robot to recognize and divide rooms automatically, said the company. It has an advanced six-core ARM system on a chip for edge AI. For example, said Trifo, if the robot sees a bed in a room, it will understand and label it a bedroom. Users can designate cleaning areas through the Trifo Home App. In addition, Lucy is Alexa-enabled and follows instructions to clean or not clean zones with “no-go” lines.
- Obstacle avoidance – Most home robots cannot recognize obstacles less than 4 in. tall, but Lucy can see down to 1 in. and avoid slippers, socks, and pet waste. Lucy combines advanced real-time object detection with a combination of proprietary 3D geometry and 3D semantics algorithms.
- Definable patrol routes – “Superheroes serve and protect!” said Trifo. Through the Trifo Home App, consumers can define patrol routes among the auto-recognized rooms inside the home. They can also pin specific locations, and Lucy can define optimized patrol routes and explore autonomously. Lucy is the only home robot that can recognize pets and alert a family of their activities while away or asleep, said Trifo.
- Strong suction — Lucy’s 3,000 Pa suction enables it to clean effectively, and the robot’s 5,200 mAh battery keeps it powered for up to 120 minutes, according to Trifo.
Trifo developing home robot ecosystem
Trifo said its vision is to build a family of home robots that enhance people’s lives and let them focus on what’s important. It said its first products were smart home robot vacuums that rapidly evolved into AI home robots with the introduction of Lucy.
Trifo’s next innovation will include home robots that address personal needs such as individual healthcare management, home environment understanding and monitoring, and entertainment services. The company said it plans to make more announcements later in 2020.
Trifo will be demonstrating its products, including Lucy, at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. It will be at Booth 42541 in the Sands, Halls A-D.