Global venture capital investment in robotics reaches $5.7 billion in 2021
Global venture capital investment in robotics hit $5.7 billion in 2021, up 38% year-on-year, according to a report. report by ABI Research, a technology watch company.
Growth was driven by successful startups in key markets such as the US, China, UK and Israel. Leading startups have demonstrated strong capabilities in three major areas: mobility, autonomy, and collaboration, especially human-machine collaboration.
The global investment market has been relatively quiet in 2020 as fewer deals were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the current labor shortage induced by Covid-19 and the current supply chain crisis are causing more and more companies to look for ways to automate labor intensive tasks. work, repetitive and dangerous.
Lian Jye Su, Research Director of Industrial, Commercial and Collaborative Robotics at ABI Research, said: “Specifically, companies are looking for mobile robotic solutions, capable of navigating through obstacles in unstructured environments and working alongside people. ‘human employees without too much supervision and control.’
This is reflected in the significant funding raised by robotics vendors in three major verticals: delivery, warehousing and healthcare. Among the startups that raised a large amount in 2021, medical-surgical system startups including CMR Surgical, Memic Innovative Surgery, Edge Medical Robotics, Procept BioRobotics, and Changmugu Medical continued their growth trend in recent years.
These systems encourage collaborations between surgeons and robots, improve surgical outcomes, and enhance surgeon capabilities.
Autonomous mobile robot providers also led the investment, with Nuro in last-mile delivery, automated storage and retrieval systems startups Fabric and InVia Robotics in warehousing, Gaussian Robotics in cleaning, Gideon Brothers, Pudu and ForwardX Robotics in General Purpose RAM.
Su says, “All of these robots are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence-based technologies such as simultaneous semantic localization and mapping, computer vision, and sensor fusion, supported by advances in data processing. chipsets and environmental sensors.
“As such, autonomous robots have proven to be reliable partners in the workplace. At the same time, companies are slowly realizing the business value of robotic automation and actively testing various solutions. »
Going forward, venture capital investment in robotics is expected to continue growing. As more companies begin to test and deploy robotics solutions, they are looking for reliable robotics software and services to manage their growing fleet of robots.
Su says, “More and more startups are developing dedicated software that handles specific robot functions, such as simulation, fleet management, and computer vision. Additionally, some startups are focusing on offering dedicated operation services based on drones and AMRs, such as aerial data collection, infrastructure inspection and last mile delivery, thus creating a robotic ecosystem. increasingly diverse and robust.