Sevensense, a NCCR Robotics spin-off that develops computer vision systems for autonomous robots, has raised a series A investment of US$7.7M led by ABB Technology Ventures, and will now partner with ABB to develop a new generation of service robots.
The company is a spin-off from Roland Siegwart’s lab at ETH Zurich. It was founded in 2018, and selected for funding by the NCCR Robotics spin-off fund the same year. It is now a leader in AI and 3D Vision technology for autonomous mobile robotics and is active in the material handling and professional cleaning industries. Headquartered in Zurich, Sevensense employs 25 people.
Service robots have the potential to drastically increase efficiency in various industries by taking over repetitive tasks. Especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile robotics has emerged as a key factor for the industrial world to ensure operational resilience and balance the labor shortage phenomenon while guaranteeing high quality execution.
However, operating in unstructured environments and public spaces represents a major challenge for autonomous mobile robots. Sevensense develops innovative technology based on computer-vision to overcome the limitations of today’s navigation systems and push the frontier of service robotics forward. It enables mobile robots to be operated by anyone in dynamic and complex environments and even next to people. Its technology combines 1) a localization system that works by constructing accurate 3D maps of the environment using sensors built into robots, and algorithms that precisely localize the robot by matching what it observes at any given time with the 3D map 2) an AI-driven perception system that allows the robot to learn what is around it and predict people’s actions, and intelligent path planning makes the robot move around static and dynamic obstacles to avoid unnecessary stops and save time during operations.
Currently, Sevensense Robotics serves a number of medium size and large manufacturers of industrial vehicles in the manufacturing, logistics and professional cleaning sectors. The fresh capital enables the company to scale its production capabilities and develop new business opportunities on a global scale.
Sevensense captured the interest of the lead investor after winning a technology challenge organized by ABB Robotics to identify the most advanced navigation solution in the world. This success led to a partnership that will see Sevensense and the leading robot manufacturer bring a new generation of autonomous mobile robots to the shopfloor.