ABB expands robotics portfolio with acquisition of Swiss start-up Sevensense
January 15, 2024
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
ABB has acquired Swiss start-up Sevensense, a provider of AI-enabled 3D vision navigation technology for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
“This marks a significant step towards our vision of a workplace where AI-enabled robots assist people, addressing our customers’ needs for greater flexibility and intelligence amidst critical skilled labour shortages,” said Sami Atiya, president, ABB robotics and discrete automation business area. “Each mobile robot, equipped with vision and AI, scans a unique part of the building; collectively these robots complement each other’s view to form a complete map, enabling them to work autonomously in a rapidly changing environment.”
The acquisition follows ABB’s minority investment in Sevensense after it joined the company’s innovation ecosystem in 2021, the same year ABB acquired ASTI Mobile Robotics. Following pilot customer projects in the automotive and logistics industries, ABB will reportedly integrate Sevensense’s technology into the company’s AMR portfolio.
Sevensense was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from Swiss technical University, ETH Zurich. Its navigation technology reportedly combines AI and 3D vision, enabling AMRs to make intelligent decisions, differentiating between fixed and mobile objects in dynamic environments. Once manually guided, mobile robots with Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (Visual SLAM) technology create a map that is used to operate independently. Maps are constantly updated and shared across the fleet.
Gregory Hitz, CEO of Sevensense, said, “This is a significant moment in our shared journey, as we introduce our home-grown technology to a wider range of markets and sectors. ABB is the ideal home for us to continue scaling our versatile platform for 3D visual autonomy, serving OEMs across the automated material handling and service robotics industries. Together, we will redefine the limits of AI-enabled robotics.”