Agility Robotics Raises $20 Million to Build and Deploy Humanoid Robots for Work in Human Spaces
Investment led by DCVC and Playground Global, and joined by MFV Partners, TDK Ventures, ITIC, Sony Innovation Fund, and Safar Partners will accelerate robot deployments with customers
Agility Robotics, a leading maker of legged robots, announced the close of a $20 million investment. The investment will enable the company to meet the demand from logistics providers, e-commerce retailers and others for robots that can work alongside humans to automate repetitive, physically demanding or dangerous work safely and scalably, even in the majority of spaces that are not purpose-built for automation. DCVC and Playground Global co-led the round and were joined by TDK Ventures, MFV Partners, the Industrial Technology Investment Corporation, Sony Innovation Fund, and Safar Partners. Agility Robotics has raised a total of $29m since its founding in 2015.
Digit, Agility Robotics’ humanoid robot with both mobility and manipulation capabilities, is commercially available and has been shipping to customers since July 2020. Digit builds on two decades of research and development from the team on human-like dynamic mobility and manipulation, and can handle unstructured indoor and outdoor terrain, going where people go. Digit is versatile and can do a range of different jobs that have been designed around a human form factor.
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“It’s never been clearer that our society’s demand for manual labor exceeds our ability to generate it safely, and it is far past time we have a solution which can work alongside humans to raise the bar on quality of life and free up human time,” said co-founder and CEO Damion Shelton.
Added co-founder and CTO Jonathan Hurst, “We’re excited to work with investors who understand our unique approach to legged locomotion, see the promise, and share our vision of robots that work in human spaces with stairs, curbs, hallways, and uneven surfaces. We look forward to accelerating the development and deployment of Digit across industries to automate some of the classic ‘Dull, Dirty, and Dangerous’ jobs that must be done in spaces designed for humans, not for robots.”
Agility Robotics provides a solution that is unique and ideal for multiple industries and use cases. Digit combines the most advanced legged locomotion and whole-body manipulation capabilities, such as lifting a box from the floor to a shelf, with efficient operation and a useful battery life.
With this financing, DCVC’s Matt Ocko will join Agility Robotics’ board of directors. “Agility truly embodies DCVC’s core thesis that Deep Tech innovation equitably delivers more economic benefits to more people, more quickly than broken ‘business as usual’ approaches,” said Matt Ocko, Managing Partner at DCVC. “Over time, we believe Agility’s robots will transform the way we deliver goods, essential items like food and medicine, and even services, to more people for less money, all while safely and respectfully empowering human co-workers along the way.”
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“As investors across the robotics and logistics ecosystems, we know all too well the challenges facing retailers and logistics companies in hiring hundreds of thousands of people during surges in demand like the current pandemic and, more commonly, holiday seasons,” said Bruce Leak, partner at Playground Global and Agility Robotics’ board member. “With Digit, Agility Robotics is uniquely positioned to provide a practical and scalable solution for businesses that also improves human safety.”
“TDK Ventures’ investment in, and partnership with, Agility Robotics represents a common mission to elevate and deliver a versatile, safe, and energy efficient humanoid robot that can work in human spaces,” said Andrew Maywah, Investment Director at TDK Ventures. “Agility is pioneering an innovative robot that is a key part of automating many different work environments. At TDK, we plan to leverage our expertise in sensors, batteries, and power management solutions to further expand robot capabilities.”
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