BEDFORD, MASS. – Soft Robotics Inc. (SRI) recently announced its $26 million Series C of financing, which would use funds to expand commercial deployment of its mGripAI robotic picking solutions.
The company said mGripAI uses 3D vision and artificial intelligence technologies to its IP69K-rated, soft grasping to give industrial robots hand-eye coordination closer to that of human beings. The new layers of robotic “hands,” “eyes” and “brains” further the automation of bulk picking processes in the food supply chain.
The company stated that Tyson Ventures and Johnsonville Ventures, the venture capital arms of Tyson Foods and Johnsonville, were both involved in this round of funding.
“We’re delighted that some of the world’s leaders in the food production and automation markets have decided to join existing investors in supporting SRI’s continuing growth journey,” said Jeff Beck, chief executive officer of Soft Robotics. “SRI’s technologies are increasingly crucial to enabling and scaling efficient and safe production of several food categories. This round of growth capital strengthens SRI’s ability to rapidly develop, deploy and support those technologies.”
Soft Robotics noted that Tyson Foods and Johnsonville are taking on robotic automation to help improve safety and increase production in facilities while also maintaining high-quality protein products. Both companies use Soft Robotics machines.
“At Tyson, we are continually exploring new areas in automation that can enhance safety and increase the productivity of our team members,” said Rahul Ray, senior director of Tyson Ventures. “Soft Robotics’ revolutionary robotic technology, computer vision and AI platform have the potential to transform the food industry and will play a key role in any company’s automation journey.”
With a global increase in demand for protein and labor scarcity still a concern, companies continue to search for some solutions with automation.
“We’re excited to be extending our partnership with Soft Robotics and adding investor to our existing customer relationship,” said Kevin Ladwig, managing director of Johnsonville Ventures. “We believe Soft Robotics offers best-in-class pick and place systems which are applicable to numerous primary and secondary processing operations. Applications that reduce repetitive motion and improve employee safety, in addition to enhancing productivity, are welcomed improvements for any operation.”
During 2021, Soft Robotics held a Series B extension which led to $10 million in funding.