20 Thriving Robotics Startups (2022)

by Josh Howarth - January 14, 2022

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The global robotics industry reached a combined revenue of $43.8 billion in 2021.

Robotics companies have been increasingly introducing advanced robotics systems that utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, improved mechanics, dexterity, and industrial automation have helped the robotics ecosystem grow exponentially.

We’ve rounded up some of the best robotics startups to keep an eye on.

1. Skydio

5-year search growth: 2200%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: Redwood City, CA

Funding: $340M (Series D)

What they do: Skydio is a drone manufacturing company that leverages AI to make drones more intelligent and cognizant. According to the company, Skydio Autonomy helps the drones fly with the “skills of an expert pilot” that minimize the need for manual control. Based on preset parameters, the drones utilize their features to achieve the goals of the user. Skydio recently partnered with Axon Evidence to automate the uploading of pictures and videos shot through their drones.

2. Anduril Industries

5-year search growth: 400%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2017

Location: Irvine, CA

Funding: $691M (Series Unknown)

What they do: As an autonomous aerospace robotics company, Anduril helps mitigate national security challenges for the US and its allies. With multiple software and hardware products like the Lattice Platform and Sentry Tower, the company offers a robotics solution for oversight, scanning, and command management. After a $450M Series D financing round in June 2021, Anduril’s valuation soared to $4.6B.

3. Zipline

5-year search growth: 311%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $483M (Series E)

What they do: A drone shipment company, Zipline allows companies to deliver global shipments using autonomous aircraft. The company provides inventory management, fulfillment, and customer management services. Currently, Zipline is using its fleet of autonomous vehicles to deliver blood and medical supplies to needy patients. They’re also moving into the retail and e-commerce space, starting with a partnership with Walmart.

4. Voliro

5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Funding: $2.2M (Seed)

What they do: Improving how drones are utilized in construction, Voliro provides various advanced flying robots. Voliro’s unmanned flying robots can efficiently work at heights while protecting and maintaining site infrastructure. The company provides a robotics platform that is backed by various company-owned and third-party applications. In September 2021, Voliro partnered with Aerodyne Partners to increase the number of aerial inspection robots worldwide.

5. Saildrone

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Alameda, CA

Funding: $189.5M (Series C)

What they do: Saildrone is an unscrewed surface vehicles (USV) company that designs, manufactures, and operates USVs. The company maps the ocean using single-beam and multibeam bathymetric data. Furthermore, their robots are powered by machine learning systems to improve marine identification. In October 2021, Saildrone closed a $100M Series C funding round led by BOND.

6. Magazino

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $49.3M (Series B)

What they do: Serving logistics companies, Magazino develops autonomous mobile robots (AMR) to improve the supply chain. The company provides autonomous picking robots for e-commerce fulfillment companies. They also manufacture industrial robots to manage industrial production and heavy loads. Magazino raised $23.8M in 2020 in a Series B financing round led by the European Investment Bank.

7. Robust AI

5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Funding: $22.5M (Series A)

What they do: Robust AI is a robotics technology startup that helps reduce the time it takes to set up robotics systems. They use a cognitive engine, along with common sense AI to develop robot software more efficiently. This helps the robotic systems become more reliable and robust in unpredictable environments. Robust AI raised $22.5M in Series A funding through JAZZ Venture Partners in 2020.

8. Simbe Robotics

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $26M (Convertible Note)

What they do: Simbe Robotics is a robotics platform that automates repetitive tasks in the retail space. The company’s flagship product, Tally, is an autonomous power tool that uses advanced sensor systems to gather data and provide meaningful insights. Recently, St. Louis-based grocery giant Schnucks deployed Simbe Robotics’ technology across 111 stores.

9. Harvest Automation

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2009

Location: Groton, MA

Funding: $33.6M (Debt Financing)

What they do: Harvest Automation is a robotics company that builds robots to solve material handling challenges in the agricultural industry. Specifically, their robots are used in nurseries, greenhouses, and for various e-commerce fulfillment applications. The company’s robots are designed to automate labor-intensive and physically demanding tasks, with little need for human input.

10. Rethink Robotics

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2008

Location: Boston, MA

Funding: $149.5M (Series E)

What they do: An expert in making collaborative robots, Rethink Robotics develops robots to make manufacturing more efficient. The company’s goal is to achieve industrial automation by supplying robots that can complete everyday manufacturing tasks. Baxter, an industrial robot built by Rethink Robotics, was the recipient of an Edison Award winner in 2013.

11. AMP Robotics

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Louisville, CO

Funding: $74.5M (Series B)

What they do: AMP Robotics provides AI-powered powered robots to improve recycling operations. The robots use a smart vision system to identify waste material based on color, shape, opacity, and other parameters. This helps differentiate recyclable material from other waste. AMP Robotics deployed its first recycling robots in the UK and Ireland in September 2021 with the help of Recyco.

12. Sphero

5-year search growth: -25%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2010

Location: Boulder, CO

Funding: $148.5M (Series Unknown)

What they do: As an edtech company, Sphero provides STEAM education in the form of programmable robots. Their coding robots can be custom designed, built, and programmed according to varying curriculums and studying kits. The company offers products for schools, as well as home products, differentiated by age groups. Sphero was named among the most innovative companies in the robotics field by Fast Company in 2017.

13. ANYbotics

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Funding: $22M (Series A)

What they do: ANYbotics develops four-legged robots that help improve reliability in automated routine industrial inspections. They’re mostly used by companies that deal with hazardous work, materials, and infrastructure. ANYbotics recently upgraded their robots with Velodyne Lidar sensors, improving inspection capabilities.

14. Modular Robotics

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2008

Location: Boulder, CO

Funding: $10.6M (Series B)

What they do: As a small robots company, Modular Robotics develops modular robots to assist in everyday tasks. The company calls their robots Cubelets - robot blocks designed to teach problem-solving skills. Users can utilize drag-and-drop programming to change robot behavior or use text-based coding. Research and development at Modular Robotics have been largely funded by the National Science Foundation.

15. Vecna Robotics

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Waltham, MA

Funding: $63.5M (Series B)

What they do: Vecna Robotics provides logistical automation and workflow optimization using autonomous mobile robots. Their robots learn and adapt in real-time to adjust to workplace changes and challenges. Self-driving vehicles require little to no human interaction and come with learning capabilities to consistently improve productivity over time. Vecna Robotics’ latest release earned them the title of the fastest autonomous mobile robots in the industry.

16. Energy Robotics

5-year search growth: -57%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Darmstadt, Germany

Funding: $2.3M (Seed)

What they do: As a “RaaS” company, Energy Robotics provides fleets or robots to improve inspection, cloud systems, and management. The robots are designed to offer predictive maintenance and smooth integration in operation management systems. With multiple onboard sensors, their robots work autonomously in all sorts of environments. Energy Robotics has worked closely with Boston Dynamics and Merck to launch a pilot program.

17. Rapid Robotics

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $54.2M (Series B)

What they do: Rapid Robotics helps companies automate common machine operator tasks to solve labor shortages. They provide robotic arms that can automate tasks like heat staking, pad printing, and injection molding, among others. The robots are used by companies that are facing labor shortages and need 24/7 production. In August 2021, Rapid Robotics raised another $36.7M in Series B financing, led by Tiger Global and Kleiner Perkins.

18. HYPR

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2020

Location: Alameda, CA

Funding: $10M (Seed)

What they do: As an AI robotics company, HYPR builds intelligent autonomous mobility robots that improve in-house efficiency. Their robots continuously learn as they go, building upon previous versions. Rather than replacing prior data, new data is adjusted to maximize productivity by learning about dynamic conditions. In 2020, HYPR received $10M in seed funding and a $190M pre-money valuation.

19. Bedrock Ocean Exploration

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2020

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Funding: $8M (Seed)

What they do: Bedrock provides smart robots to map the ocean floor and collect and manage seafloor data. Their portable autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) provide high-resolution marine surveys, including hydrographic and geophysical surveys. A mix of survey services and a well-designed data platform allow the company to accurately collect seafloor data. In March 2021, Bedrock raised $8M in seed funding in a round led by Eniac Ventures, R7, Quiet Capital, and Primary Venture Partners.

20. Company Six

5-year search growth: -50%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Boulder, CO

Funding: $4.6M (Series Unknown)

What they do: A drone technology company, Company Six develops small reconnaissance drones that let users scout their surroundings. The portable robots are designed to cross most terrains, have unlimited range due to LTE capabilities, and have a powerful battery. They are designed for first responders and professionals working in high-risk environments. Company Six received $4.6M in funding in July 2020.

Conclusion

That concludes our list of the top robotics startups with strong potential for growth in 2022 and beyond.

With an abundance of artificial intelligence companies and robotics companies, we’ll be seeing a lot more robotics startups. Most of them will target specific industries, such as the e-commerce and healthcare industries.

Meanwhile, there has been a steady improvement in industrial robots and unmanned autonomous mobility robots.

We’ll be seeing similar innovations in the robotics industry as new technologies and software are developed over the next decade.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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