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Meet the first 5 startups in Amazon’s new $1B industrial innovation fund – RegularFeed

Amazon launched Thursday a $1 billion fund centered on logistics, the availability chain and buyer success with focus — a minimum of on this first batch of investments — on wearable know-how that improves security in its success facilities and robotics.

The Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund follows different funding actions by the corporate geared toward discovering, backing and generally buying corporations engaged on know-how vital to its personal mission. Amazon launched a $2 billion Local weather Pledge Fund in 2020 to spend money on sustainable applied sciences and companies that may assist the corporate attain its dedication to be net-zero carbon in its operations by 2040. Amazon’s local weather fund has invested in 11 corporations so far, together with CarbonCure, CMC Equipment, Pachama, Redwood Supplies, Resilient Energy, Rivian, TurnTide Applied sciences, BETA Applied sciences, Ion Power, ZeroAvia and Infinium.

The brand new industrial innovation fund faucets into Amazon’s want to search out quicker methods to ship items, whereas enhancing the expertise of shoppers and workers working in warehouses and logistics, in accordance with the corporate. It additionally goals to construct off of Amazon’s earlier investments in AI and robotics which have led to including enhancements into its operations, together with robotic arms that carry out repetitive duties and automation autos that may assist transport bigger gadgets.

Amazon introduced 5 preliminary investments into startups growing wearable know-how and robotics. Amazon didn’t disclose the funding quantities. Right here’s a breakdown of what every firm is engaged on.

Agility Robotics

agility robotics digit

Picture Credit: Ford/Agility Robotics

The Corvallis, Oregon startup based by Jonathan Hurst and Damion Shelton, is finest recognized for its bipedal strolling robotic named Digit. The robotic is supposed to handle the “mobility limitations of conventional robots,” in accordance with Amazon. That’s one other method of claiming Digit can get to locations — specifically stairs — the place wheeled bots can not.

Agility spun out of Oregon State College in late 2015 with an purpose to commercialize analysis on bipedal locomotion from the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory. The corporate launched its ostrich-inspired Cassie robotic in 2017 as a bipedal analysis platform. Digit, which added an higher torso, arms, sensors and extra computing energy to the Cassie design, was launched in February 2019.

Not lengthy after, Agility struck a partnership with Ford to check how two-legged robots and self-driving vehicles would possibly work collectively. Extra just lately, Agility has shifted its consideration to logistics.

BionicHIVE

The Israeli firm based in 2014, is growing an autonomous robotic product branded SqUID that may adapt to current shelving racks and bins in warehouses and is able to ground to ceiling performance, in accordance with Amazon. The product works as a robotic fleet. Every robotic can roll alongside the bottom of a warehouse ground, then connect itself to these gigantic floor-to-ceiling cabinets in warehouses, slide up the racks, choose a field after which descend.

Mantis Robotics

The San Francisco startup is the youngest within the funding block. Mantis Robotics, which is growing a tactile robotic arm that makes use of sensor know-how to cohesively work alongside individuals, was based in 2020. The know-how permits for these robotic arms to be “fenceless,” permitting them to work together extra freely with individuals with out threat of damage.

Mantis Robotics was certainly one of 15 early-stage startups that participated in Batchery’s 2021 fall program for entrepreneurs.

Modjoul

The Greenville, South Carolina knowledge analytics startup based in 2016 is engaged on wearable security know-how that gives real-time, customized alerts and proposals geared toward lowering accidents, most notably musculoskeletal points.

The wearable tech is a belt with six sensors to offer movement, location and environmental knowledge. Haptic suggestions reminds workers of appropriate physique mechanics whereas performing duties like lifting bins. Collected knowledge is shared with the worker and supervisors and coaching could be developed to assist cut back or get rid of office accidents.

Vimaan

The Santa Clara, California startup based in 2016 is growing laptop imaginative and prescient and synthetic intelligence product to enhance stock administration. The automated product primarily creates a digital warehouse that may seize, observe and handle stock throughout a warehouse, together with receiving, put-away and choosing, storage and pack and ship.

The corporate emerged from stealth earlier this yr with $25 million in a seed and Collection A spherical that included New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Wing VC and Neotribe Ventures.

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