Robotics & Automation News

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SLAMcore raises $16 million to give spatial understanding to robots and the metaverse

SLAMcore, a developer of vision-based location and mapping for robots and autonomous machines, has raised $16 million in Series A capital.

The company says the funding will allow the business to rapidly capitalize on its proven technology which combines AI with consumer-grade cameras, sensors and processors to solve the complex challenges of mapping and navigating for a wide range of autonomous machines and devices.

The funding round was led by ROBO Global Ventures and Presidio Ventures who invested alongside Amadeus Capital, Global Brain, IP Group, MMC and Octopus. Strategic investors Samsung Ventures, Toyota Ventures, and Yamato Holdings also joined the round.

Lisa Chai, a partner at ROBO Global Ventures which is supporting SLAMcore’s mission, says: “The robotics market is exploding.

“Vision-based spatial intelligence is a key enabler that will turbo-charge this industry. We are excited to support the SLAMcore team and their rapid growth with capital and access to the ROBO Global network and expertise.”

SLAMcore uses deep learning to help robots, consumer products and drones identify physical space, objects and people around them in order to autonomously navigate the real world in a safer and more efficient way.

Its algorithms allow robots from domestic vacuum cleaners to precision industrial autonomous vehicles to precisely map the physical environment around them and locate themselves accurately within those maps through what is known as Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM).

The technology is also used by producers of VR and AR headsets that require mapping and location to accurately align virtual and physical worlds.

SLAMcore’s technology has already been used by major technology companies such as Meta, and with the market for autonomous and spatially aware machines predicted to exceed $100 billion by 2030, the opportunities for the business’ software are immense.

Increasing interest in the metaverse will further stimulate the market for wearable and attachable devices that allow humans as well as machines to map and safely navigate real and virtual worlds simultaneously.

A key objective for SLAMcore is to democratize robotic technology by making SLAM more cost-achievable to larger swathes of robotics designers. SLAM is one of the trickiest elements in creating machines and devices that can autonomously navigate and can take months of development time and thousands of dollars in sensors and processors to get right.

SLAMcore’s algorithms allow any designer to use a simple hardware set-up of two low-cost cameras and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to deliver SLAM functionality “out-of-the-box”. As a result, many more designers are able to bring their autonomous solutions to market faster and more cost effectively.

SLAMcore founder and CEO, Owen Nicholson, says: “For far too long, robots have not been able to navigate physical spaces with the level of accuracy and efficiency that we know is possible.

“As they become more available to companies and consumers alike in years to come, SLAMcore is determined to ensure that as many designers as possible have access to the algorithms needed to optimize their products.

“We provide accurate, robust and commercially viable SLAM using affordable cameras and components that will benefit wide swathes of businesses and improve the user experience of consumer products.

“Our technology has already been proven in commercial pilots and proofs of concept with customers as diverse as Meta, which uses SLAMcore in its cutting-edge Bombyx robot, to Synaos which uses it to retrofit autonomous location and mapping capabilities to intralogistics vehicles.

“This funding will allow us to rapidly scale to meet the demand from consumer electronics, logistics, industrial and manufacturing sector clients all keen to deploy low-cost, high accuracy SLAM at commercial scale.”

Kuni Kawase, managing director of Presidio Ventures, commented on the firm’s investment in the company: “SLAMcore’s technology can be deployed to add value and reduce time to market for robots in a wide range of sectors. We are proud to start a business partnership with SLAMcore. We aim to create value for the company through the extensive network of Sumitomo Corporation group companies and business partners.”

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