Piece picking is still a challenge for robots, particularly in high-variability applications such as e-commerce order fulfillment. XYZ Robotics Inc., which has developed a 3D vision system and end-of-arm tooling for logistics and industrial automation, recently announced a Series A+ round of nearly $ 20 million. The Allston, Mass.-based company said the capital will fuel its research and development, business expansion, and operational capabilities, as well as large-scale deployment.
The identification of unknown SKUs of various shapes and sizes is one of the biggest problems in logistics. XYZ Robotics said its artificial intelligence and patent-pending tool-changing system can reduce the requirements for costly hardware.
XYZ Robotics CEO Zhou Jiaji, Chief Technology Officer Peter Kuan-Ting Yu, and Chief Financial Officer Xingliang Libo have degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, and Peking University, respectively. They founded the startup in 2018, and the core team ranked in the top three in Amazon Robotics Challenges three years in a row.
XYZ Robotics looks to more applications
MassRobotics member XYZ claimed that its 3D perception systems, advanced motion planning, and deep-learning algorithms can improve efficiency and SKU coverage while reducing the rate of human intervention.
For example, XYZ Robotics said it recently took only two weeks to integrate, test, and fine-tune a piece-picking station at a leading logistics warehouse. The system was delivered and operated with 99.9% accuracy rate before a shopping holiday with expected return on investment of two years, according to the company.
Not only is XYZ scaling its piece-picking systems, but it said it is also adapting its vision systems and end effectors to other applications. The company said its understanding of manufacturing and logistics workflows enables it to combine hardware and software for e-commerce, mixed-load palletizing and depalletizing, and high-speed industrial kitting. XYZ said users and integrators around the world have benefited from its standardized applications and simplified deployment process.
“XYZ Robotics will continue deepening its understanding of logistics and manufacturing, improving robot’s hand-eye coordination capabilities, and making such solutions ready for mass production,” stated Jiaji Zhou. “We will utilize the capital resources to expand our talented team and push the boundary of our technology so as to keep bringing better solutions to the customers.”
Investors praise rapid development
Source Code Capital led the Series A+ round, which was oversubscribed by Gaorong Capital and Morningside Capital. Guangyuan Capital was the exclusive investment advisor.
“From mobility to grasping, robots’ capabilities are getting closer to [those of] human beings,” said Runze Chen, a vice president at Source Code Capital. “More data, better algorithms, and growing compute power will enable more robots in various scenarios.”
“XYZ Robotics is formed by excellent R&D, engineering, and business talent,” he added. “We believe that such focus in these fields will allow XYZ to break through more challenging scenarios. And XYZ’s hand-eye coordination technology will become a standard component for robots.”
“From a campus laboratory two years ago to a team with both technical strength and commercialization capabilities, XYZ Robotics has been acknowledged by leading logistics and retail companies, ” said Bin Yue, co-founder of Gaorong Capital.
“As a young and energetic startup, XYZ Robotics has an extraordinary technical vision and R&D capabilities,” said Zhe Chen, vice president at Morningside Capital. “I also believe that XYZ’s hand-eye coordination technology will become the core foundation in the coming robotic era, empowering millions of robots to be widely used in various industries.”