Locus Robotics has received $25m investment to help retailers automate their fulfilment with the help of its collaborative warehouse robots.

Its robots connect with the systems that power warehouses, helping them keep on top of orders and inventory. They are used to help operatives find products faster, navigating around the warehouse and working together to make sure there’s never a gap in service.

They don’t look particularly clever – almost like plastic seats with a shelf to hold the goods and a touchscreen to operate, but the way they work is super-intelligent. However, they offer logistics firms a more affordable way of automating their warehouse operations, using a Robot-as-a-Service model.

“E-commerce fulfillment warehouses are under tremendous pressure to meet increasing demands for fast, accurate order fulfillment in the face of significant labor challenges,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics.

“Locus Robotics’s collaborative robots allow warehouse operators to significantly increase worker productivity while economically closing the growing labor gap.”

The company raised the funds through a Series B funding round, led by Scale Venture Partners. It will use the funds to develop new products and expand into new markets.

“We try to invest just when that innovative technology is ready to jump from an interesting idea that might happen to a core business imperative that is happening right now,” Rory O’Driscoll, General Partner at ScaleVP, one of Locus’ investors said.

“For collaborative robotics the time is right now. Robots can work safely with humans, each doing what they do best, to double human productivity and lighten the physical workload in industries like logistics. We anticipate an explosion of this trend in the next few years, and Locus will be at the heart of that trend.”

The news comes as Locus announced it’s just onboarded DHL as its newest client.