Soft Robotics raised another $23 million to continue developing its solutions to the seemingly intractable problems gripping and sorting machines face.
CEO Carl Vause said this capital infusion, which comes after Soft Robotics partnered with industrial giant FANUC to integrate its systems with the latter’s robots through a new controller, will accelerate the startup’s next phase of growth.
Soft Robotics describes its grippers as a “Fundamentally new class” of machine – those that are adaptive, plug and play, repeatable, and reliable.
Soft Robotics supplies every component necessary to get its systems up and running, including control units and software that provides control of grip parameters including force, actuator spacing, and opening width.
Whitesides, a member of Harvard University’s Whitesides Research Group, pioneered many of the technologies underpinning them, including the”Pneu-Net” soft robotics actuator as part of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s ChemBots program.
After securing licensing rights to the Whitesides patent portfolio and grants from DARPA, Soft Robotics went onto nab Dow 30 and Fortune 500 customers in food and beverage, manufacturing, and logistics market segments, including Just Born Quality Confections.
Soft Robotics’ oversubscribed funding round – a series B – was co-led by Calibrate Ventures and Material Impact, with participation from new investor FANUC Corp and existing investors Honeywell, Hyperplane, Scale, Tekfen Ventures, and Yamaha.