Swiss based ANYbotics makes a unique four-legged autonomous inspection robot platform. The company has seen success deploying the robot into industrial inspection use cases including oil rig inspection and other difficult to reach and dangerous inspection applications.
The company announces the closing of its $22.3 million USD (CHF 20 million) Series A financing round led by Swisscom Ventures. The funding will serve to accelerate the commercialization of its autonomous robots for industrial inspection applications.
As the video above shows, the ANYbotics solution offers a unique four-legged locomotion that enables the ANYmal C robot to operate in places where a wheeled AMR would find it difficult to maneuver. ANYbotics spun out in 2016 from ETH Zurich and works with a team of over 50 employees on developing, producing, and deploying full-stack robotic solutions. “Over the past four years, we took our walking robots out of the lab to become truly industry-grade,” says Dr. Hanspeter Fässler, co-founder and Chairman of ANYbotics.
The ANYmal can be fitted with a sensor package that enables it to record data including video, infrared images, temperature, gas detection or any other type of sensor. ANYmal can then navigate the facility and execute data gathering sequences to record the state of the facility. ANYmal can be deployed either to patrol a route autonomously or the platform can be operated in a remote tele-operation mode where a remote pilot can move the robot around to observe conditions in real-time. Tele-operation requires a live network connection to the ANYmal.
ANYmal is capable of moving over cables or pipes on the floor, and it can move up and down stairs. If the robot stumbles, it is capable of recovering automatically and continuing on its mission. It is because of these unique capabilities that ANYmal is finding work for inspection duties in remote and dangerous situations. One particularly unique application for ANYmal is for oil rig inspection. It is expensive to fly human resources to an oil rig, yet the ANYmal can be deployed onto a rig permanently and remote inspectors can leverage the ANYmal robot to complete ongoing inspection tasks.
To accelerate the large-scale deployment of its robotic solution, ANYbotics is partnering with a group of investors in a $22.3 M (USD) Series A financing round. The round is led by Swisscom Ventures with participation from co-investors such as Ace & Company, EquityPitcher Ventures, and others.
Alexander Schläpfer, Partner at Swisscom Ventures, says: “What really got us excited is ANYbotics’ cutting edge technology that has its roots in one of the world’s leading robotics labs at ETH Zurich.” Swisscom Ventures’ Digital Transformation Fund focuses on technologies that help digitize businesses and they are excited about what has been achieved so far: “The team impressed me with their substantial traction with blue-chip customers with whom they have been able to engage in high-value use cases.”
Industrial companies face the challenge of optimizing productivity while increasing environmental and personnel safety. Providing the necessary routine inspection data, ANYbotics’ fully autonomous mobile solution found immediate appeal in several industries. “We are working with leading energy, industrial processing, and construction companies to bring digitalization into environments that are too complex for traditional robots”, says Dr. Péter Fankhauser, co-founder and CEO of ANYbotics.