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Quebec-based startup raises $6.5M for industrial robot AI platform


Photo: Omnirobotic

Omnirobotic, a Quebec-based robotics automation startup, has closed a seed round of $6.5 million to further develop and commercialize its AI platform for factory robots.

This funding enables Omnirobotic, which was founded in 2016, to continue building autonomous robotic capabilities for high-mix production environments, allowing industrial robots to see, plan and execute high-value-added processes like painting, welding and machining with limited human oversight.

“Our AI platform shows potential for significant productivity gains, along with substantial energy and consumable savings per part produced that are meaningful to all kinds of industrial manufacturers,” says Francois Simard, Omnirobotic co-founder and CEO.

“The technology itself is transformative because these manufacturers will finally be able to use industrial robots for value added tasks on never-before-seen parts within unstructured environments.”

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Because conventional industrial robots are unable to solve many of the challenges involved in the mass customization of goods, Omnirobotic’s approach enables robotic production processes to respond to parts in near real-time.

Diverse part models remain the norm in most industries, while fixturing and other costs associated with model-to-model manual programming remain prohibitive.

“Now that any process can be intelligently automated, manufacturers will be looking for their own ways to automate tasks for which they otherwise have difficulty recruiting and retaining skilled, qualified workers – something even more essential in the wake of additional workforce challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” adds Simard.

“This is both critical for individual firms and also reflects a growing consensus among many robot and process equipment manufacturers. As such, in the next few months, we will also be announcing multiple commercial partnerships focused on targeting currently under-addressed high-mix firms.”

Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Export Development Canada (EDC) led the round with participation from Real Ventures and a joint venture including the company’s current employees.