Robotics firm Agility Robotics has raised $8 million funding for its bipedal robot that could be used for delivering goods to both consumers and businesses.
The robots look like the bottom half of a human, walking around on two legs and presenting a storage compartment to recipients of its goods. The reason the idea is so in genius is because the robots are able to reach places traditional wheeled robots (like Starship Technologies’ delivery vehicles) aren’t able to reach.
The funding round was led by Playground Global and contributions also came in from the Sony Innovation Fund. The money will be used to to accelerate product, technology, and business development.
Bipedal robots aren’t a new thing, but Agility Robotics is setting itself aside from the competition by offering passive dynamics that makes the robot much more like a human, with fluid movement and a human0like gait.
“A lot of companies are focusing their development efforts on automating wheeled platforms,” Bruce Leak, Playground Global said.
“We wanted to focus on solving mobility in areas where wheeled platforms can’t reach (i.e., stairs, curbs, etc) and legged systems are best suited to address—opening up opportunities to solve the last 100 feet rather than the last mile.
However, don’t expect to see Agility Robotic’s robots walking around too soon. At the moment, the project is just for research purposes, although there are of course plans to launch it commercially in a range of different versions for different industries.
“Agility Robotics will work to address a variety of vertical markets that can be impacted by this technology, implementing market-specific configurations for size, scale, number of legs, sensing, manipulation, and other market-specific engineering choices,” the company said.