Wandelbots GmbH, which has developed a platform intended to ease robot training and reprogramming, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. The Dresden, Germany-based company plans to debut its TracePen device online this week.
Wandelbots said it plans to use the investment to accelerate commercialization of TracePen, a handheld device to allow people instruct robots how to move through imitation learning. The company claimed that users can teach robots up to 70 times faster than with conventional coding and that TracePen enables users without robotics expertise to set up industrial robots.
TracePen features include high-precision tracking, tool and system integration, and offline simulation. It also includes keyframe adjustment, joint and cartesian control, and visual programming.
“The complexity, time and cost of programming robots to adapt to changing market requirements has, until now, been hugely prohibitive,” stated Christian Piechnick, founder and CEO of Wandelbots. “The advent of end-user programming has turned the market on its head.”
Wandelbots plans to accelerate marketing
Wandelbot’s customers include multinationals such as BMW and Infineon, as well as small and midsize enterprises. Multinational companies have expressed interest in its technology during the COVID-19 pandemic because they need to shorten supply chains and reshore certain processes, said the company.
83North led Wandelbots’ Series B round, with participation from Next47, Paula Ventures, EQT Ventures, Atlantic Labs, Haniel and Alexander Rinke, and M12, formerly Microsoft Ventures. The company previously raised $6.76 million in December 2018.
“As we enter a new era of robotics and automation, Wandelbots is revolutionizing this industry and is playing a leading role in reshaping manufacturing as we know it,” said Gil Goren, a partner at 83North.
The startup, which has 80 employees in Europe and Asia, said it plans to use its latest funding to expand globally and to accelerate TracePen’s time to market.
“Looking into the future, I’m absolutely certain that within the next 15 years, robots will be established in every household in the same way smartphones were established within the last decade,” said Piechnick. “We are paving this way by enabling everyone out there to show a robot what to do.