Flexiv today raised more than $100 million in Series B funding for its Rizon adaptive robot. The round was led by Meituan, Meta Capital, New Hope Group, Longwood, Jack Ma’s YF Capital, Gaorong Capital, GSR Ventures and Plug and Play.
Flexiv, which spun out of Stanford University in 2016, has offices in Santa Clara, Calif. and China. It has now raised more than $122 million to date. It closed a $22 million Series A round in 2019. Flexiv told The Robot Report it will use the funding to scale Rizon, which incorporates edge, industrial strength force control, computer vision and AI technologies.
Flexiv provides turnkey solutions and services to customers in a variety of industries. It said it has customers in the automotive, 3C electronics, and internet industries across China, North America, Europe, and South Korea. Rizon launched in April 2019, and Flexiv recently manufactured the 100th unit of the product.
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“We will continue focusing on automation transformation of the manufacturing industry, while exploring new applications in a broader range of industries including services, agriculture, logistics, medical care, and so on,” said Shiquan Wang, co-founder and CEO of Flexiv. “With business opportunities from new investors that cover almost every industry, we will be able to develop and refine our products and robot AI in a diversity of real application scenarios, which greatly benefits our development of the most advanced general intelligence and robotics technology.”
Flexiv recently demoed Rizon at the 22nd China Industrial Industry Fair (CIIF) to highlight force-controlled assembly, polishing and sanding, and connector plugging. You can watch an example of that demo in the video above.
Flexiv competes with companies that produce and sell collaborative robots such as ABB, Doosan Robotics, KUKA, Universal Robots, and more. According to Flexiv, the core features of Rizon include high-precision and fast-response force-control technology throughout the arm. Rizon supports seven degrees of freedom, and each joint is equipped with proprietary force- and torque-sensing technology.
The company recently showcased the newest version of its adaptive robot, Rizon 4s. The company said it features stronger force control performance, better disturbance-rejection abilities and multi-contact force control.
“I’m very pleased to see that Flexiv has paved a unique path of robotic hardware and software technologies to bring the capability of force control robots to real-world applications,” said Oussama Khatib, chair of IFRR and director of the Stanford Robotics Lab. “The Rizon robot, which establishes an effective fusion of advanced force control and cutting-edge algorithms, represents a major milestone for future robotics development.”
To learn more about Flexiv, read this startup profile from our sister publication, Robotics Business Review.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on our sister site, The Robot Report.