Which makes pliable grippers to pick up objects from pens to pizza dough, is getting $20 million in funding to expand into the logistics and e-commerce market.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company’s technology is aimed at taking robots in industrial settings beyond repetitive, programmed movements by giving them the ability to pick up and move various goods of varying sizes and weights.
Soft Robotics’s technology combines automation and vision-guided software with a gripper made of a soft polymer that molds itself around an object like an octopus tentacle.
Founded in 2013, the company has 32 employees and expects to add around 20 more by the end of the year.
Mr. Vause declined to say how much annual revenue Soft Robotics generates, but said it was less than $10 million.
The $20 million funding round, led by Hyperplane Venture Capital, will help Soft Robotics push into the retail and logistics market and expand in the food and beverage sector.
The round, the company’s second, includes new investors Scale Venture Partners and the venture capital arm of Honeywell International Inc., as well as existing investors including ABB Technology Ventures, a unit of Swiss engineering and automation firm ABB Ltd. Soft Robotics is rolling out a new retail and logistics application called SuperPick that uses a mix of artificial intelligence and human guidance to teach its robots to pick up a range of differently-sized objects.