Rethink Robotics, Inc. has not only changed its name from Heartland Robotics; it’s gotten some serious "change" for its plans after raising $30 million from investors.
Sigma Partners led the recent Series C funding round. Also taking part was Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a new investor, as well as Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Bezos Expeditions – each of which had invested in the company previously.
The company was started by iRobot Corp. co-founder, Rodney Brooks. Its goals include making robots that let manufacturing become more productive and efficient, and still be less expensive than alternatives, according to a report from Mass High Tech.
Its first robots are expected to be shown off sometime this year.
“The robots will be intuitive to use, capable of autonomously sensing and adapting to their environment (and be) versatile and flexible,” according to a company statement. “They'll be easy to buy, train and deploy.”
Eckert said the robot later this year will be built almost entirely in the United States, according to the statement.
"With our robots, businesses will have the opportunity to rethink manufacturing, rethink automation and rethink outsourcing," Brooks added.
The new money raised from investors will be used for a new robot product, develop new product lines and used to expand the company’s sales, marketing and services operations.
"This investment propels our first product to completion, and gives us a head start on new products," said Rethink Robotics president and CEO Scott Eckert. "The company has the unique challenge of driving the state-of-the-art in both hardware and software technologies simultaneously. We have a strong team in place and will use this funding to recruit the best talent in embedded and application software, controls, mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as a wide range of business roles."
“Rethink Robotics has made great strides toward completing its flagship product, an entirely new category of manufacturing robot,” Sigma Partners Managing Director Paul Flanagan said in a piece carried on SDNzone. “Their timing could not be better as recently businesses have expressed powerful reasons that they want to re-shore their manufacturing operations.”
"We are excited to join Rethink Robotics as they create robot products that implement a remarkably compelling market vision – one that will overturn conventional wisdom about how and where manufacturing should be done,” added Steve Jurvetson, managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Edited by Braden Becker