Robotiq raises $23M for collaborative robot components


A robotic gripper from Robotiq. (Credit: Robotiq)

Robotiq, a Quebec City, Canada-based maker of plug-and-play cameras, grippers, force sensors and software for collaborative robots, has raised Can$31 million (about US$23.1 million) in funding from global investment firm Battery Ventures.

This is Robotiq’s first round of funding. Battery General Partner Jesse Feldman, who specializes in industrial technology investments, will join Robotiq’s board. Robotiq says it will use the funding for product development, international expansion and enhanced support of its partner ecosystem.

“Collaborative robotics is transforming industries today, offering low-cost, easy-to-deploy solutions that stand in stark contrast to the more-complicated, legacy robotics systems of the past,” said Robotiq CEO Samuel Bouchard, who co-founded the company 10 years ago with Vincent Duchaine and Jean-Philippe Jobin. “What is amazing about these systems is how they work side-by-side with humans to improve quality, increase efficiency and minimize worker injuries.

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Bouchard, Duchaine and Jobin met as students in a robotics lab at Laval University in Canada. Jobin now serves as the company’s CTO, while Duchaine is a robotics researcher and professor at the École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal.

Bouchard wrote in a blog on Robotiq’s website, “maybe it’s because I have had a training in physics but to me, money is energy. The more you have, the more you can make things move. Now Robotiq has much more and we will move bigger things even faster!” He added, “Now that collaborative robotics is accelerating and becoming widely adopted by manufacturers worldwide, it’s time to step up our game. To do so, we wanted to find a solid partner, which is exactly what Battery is.”

Robotiq partners with more than 190 distributors in 48 countries and sells to manufacturers in industries including electronics, aerospace, automotive and others. Among those customers are global companies such as Assa Abloy, Continental Automotive and Saint-Gobain.

“We have been tracking Robotiq and its experienced team for several years and are extremely impressed with the business the founders have built,” said Feldman. “Robotiq’s next-generation products are improving efficiencies at companies all over the globe and, more broadly, provide a glimpse of how new, interconnected technologies including robots, sensors and software are driving a new kind of industrial revolution with huge ramifications for the global economy and workforce.”

Robotiq’s comera technology, grippers, force sensors and software help with manufacturing tasks including picking up and placing certain components or products; light assembly; finishing; and quality testing. The company’s products can free up humans to focus on higher-value work and also help customers struggling with labor shortages on factory floors.

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