December 11, 2023

The robotics space has seen good news this week about new investment in startups, but two established players in the space have hit a snag. Amazon’s possible $1.7 billion acquisition of iRobot has previously been approved by UK antitrust regulators and is currently undergoing extensive scrutiny by the European Union.

Our resident robotics expert, Brian Heater, provides some additional analysis of the deal and honors the late industry legend Joanne Pransky in the latest issue of the Actuator newsletter. Subscribe to get these updates here every Thursday.

For the rest of the robotics news from the past week, keep scrolling.

Verity’s $11M Keeps Drones Soaring During Hot Summer

Swiss startup Verity has announced a new funding round, following on from a $32 million Series B round in March. Its deal with IKEA has attracted a lot of attention in the industry, and IKEA will place 100 drones in 16 warehouses in Europe. Opportunity.

Wildfire detection automation nets $17 million gain

Pano AI has been developing cameras that can automatically detect wildfires, most recently capturing and sending an early warning of the Cutch Road Fire 14 minutes before the first 911 call was made.

With wildfires gaining worldwide attention as temperatures rise, Pano AI announced an additional $17 million in Series A funding of $20 million.

Simbe’s funding rises to $54M after BJ Wholesale deal closes

While Verity’s drones focus on warehouses, Simbe’s focuses on the stores themselves, with robots roaming the stores to monitor inventory within customers’ fingertips. The company just announced a new $28 million Series B round, following a $26 million Series A round in late 2019, after the company deployed Tally robots in all BJ Wholesale Club locations.

Bedrock’s ocean mapping ambitions get $25 million in funding

Any construction project requires surveying, inspection and monitoring, as does the increasing number of underwater projects driven by demand for offshore wind power. Bedrock, whose autonomous underwater vehicle aims to replace expensive manned survey vessels to do the work, just announced $25.5 million in new funding to expand its mission. Interestingly, their new focus is less on the hardware itself and more on proving the commercial viability of selling the data they collect through their autonomous explorers.

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