/ 3 min read

Agile Robots AG successfully completes pre-A round of financing

Gilching, Germany, 31.7.20219 - Artificial intelligence and robotics start-up Agile Robots AG recently completed the pre-A round of financing jointly invested by Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tinavi and Linear Venture. Previously, Agile Robots has been awarded a seed round by Hillhouse Capital and Linear Venture as well as an angel round investment by Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital and Linear Venture.

Agile Robots is a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. The company is a pioneer in the robotic community, using robotic vision, motion planning, adaptive grasping, human-machine collaboration and machine learning to make robots more intelligent.

According to the Higher Industrial Research Institute (GGII), 136,000 new industrial robots were introduced to the Chinese domestic market in 2017, a 60% increase from the previous year. However, according to a survey by the International Federation of Robotics the current state-of-the-art industrial robots can only meet 5% of manufacturing needs. Most traditional industrial robots are commanded in position control such that they strictly follow preset position trajectories and cannot be used in non-standardized scenes and scenarios where human-robot interaction is needed.

What can robots with “intelligent” software do?

Intelligent software opens the door to a wide range of possible application scenarios which are difficult or impossible when using traditional methods, especially in the fields of high-end medical robotics, scientific research, intelligent manufacturing, consumer services robotics, etc. Furthermore intelligent robots are able to work with people in close environments, while greatly improving efficiency and safety. When it comes to hardware, they are also lighter, smaller and more cost effective.

Chen Zhaopeng, founder of Agile Robots, said: “The addition of Agile Core, our customized software, can help robots to judge the shape, material, and measurements of different objects, thus revolutionizes their perception of the world, while enabling them to safely interact with people at close range. Through our core AI algorithm, we can accurately identify the interaction between robots and the external environment, so that they can intelligently adjust their working mode with increasing dexterity.”

“Germany has some of the best precision technology, and China has the most extensive market for robotics worldwide. We are committed to combining the two in order to create maximum value for our customers and to contribute to the technological advancements in the field of robotics,” said Chen Zhaopeng.

Company founders Chen Zhaopeng and Peter Meusel came from the German Aerospace Center/ Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (DLR/RMC), the first institute that proposed and developed the successful force controlled robot series LWR I-LWR IV. Zhaopeng Chen was the deputy director of the German Aerospace Center’s Modular Robotics Laboratory. He contributed to the development of multiple models of DLR robots. Peter Meusel was a senior scientist at the German Aerospace Center and co-founder of Wessling Robotics. He has 30 years of experience in the design of torque sensors and robots. The core members of the team are from the German Aerospace Center and other well-known international institutions and companies.