San Diego artificial intelligence company Brain Corp, a Qualcomm spinoff, announced June 28 it had invested in Savioke, a Silicon Valley-based company that makes indoor service robots.
The move is part of Brain's long-term plan to deploy its software, which allows machines to navigate autonomously, across industries. The Savioke partnership is intended to broaden its reach beyond its current vertical - automated floor cleaning machines - to robots in hospitality, hospitals and logistics.
Brain is backed by Qualcomm Ventures and SoftBank, which led its $114 million Series C funding in 2017.
Now Brain has made an investment of its own, one its CEO, Eugene Izhikevich, hopes will pay off handsomely by accelerating the rate at which Savioke can scale deployment of its delivery robots by powering them with Brain Corp.’s software.
Brain participated in Savioke’s $13.4 million Series B funding, which brought the company’s total funding to $31 million.
Savioke’s flagship product, the Relay robot, has made deliveries in hundreds of locations since launching in 2014. The robots are used primarily in hotels and logistics facilities.
The company said its latest financing will support its expansion into hospitals. Participation by Denver-based company Swisslog Healthcare, which automates services for health care systems, in the Series B is expected to facilitate its entry into that industry.
Brain’s technology, until now, has been deployed primarily in floor scrubbers in industrial facilities. The company partners with original equipment manufacturers to integrate its software into machines driven by people, which allows tasks to be performed without manual control.
The investment into Savioke is a strategic one: Savioke has, in turn, agreed to license BrainOS, the San Diego company’s software platform for streamlining the development, deployment and management of robots.
“We have experienced strong success automating the floor care industry, and as part of our growth strategy, are now introducing the BrainOS platform across a multitude of other applications,” Izhikevich said. “Supporting leading robotics companies that can leverage BrainOS to accelerate their robotic development is one of our primary development objectives.”
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