Robotics startup Plus One Robotics exits stealth, announces funding round
Founded in 2016 but running in stealth mode until now, Robotics startup Plus One Robotics is pulling back the curtain today. The company has exited stealth to announce the commercial release of the PickOne Perception system, an integrated 3D vision solution for imaging parcels and generating robot pick points.
Plus One develops computer vision software to enable robotic automation in supply chain applications. The integration of off-the-shelf high performance manipulators with Plus One’s advanced vision capabilities enables robots to bridge the gap between steady state volume and surge. Plus One’s technology mitigates the persistent shortage of manual labor and allows warehouse personnel to flow from monotonous tasks to higher value work. The company has 11 employees and expects to add around 20 more within a year.
Plus One’s novel approach to human/robot collaboration and supervised autonomy ensures the systems are scalable, flexible, and fault tolerant.
Plus One Robotics has partnered with leaders in robot manufacturing, system integration, and e-commerce to develop this technology for the order fulfillment and parcel shipping markets. Rising consumer demand for shorter delivery times has increased the need for improved efficiency in sortation, induction, and singulation of the millions of packages which must be handled each day. The repetitive nature of these material handling tasks leads to high employee turnover and thus a need for an automated solution.
“It’s an exercise in labor optimization,” Plus One Robotics Chief Executive Erik Nieves said. “Our PickOne technology enables robots to perform these simple yet necessary operations, allowing employees to flow to higher value work.” At up to 1500 picks per hour, the software generates pick points faster than any other 3D vision software, allowing robots to meet or exceed human picking rates, he said.
Leveraging advances in 3D image processing and machine learning, Plus One Robotics’ technology combines hardware and software to deliver a robust, integrated solution. The PickOne system is robot-agnostic and can be installed on robots from any major robot manufacturer, including ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, Universal Robots, or Yaskawa.
“Intelligent perception is the prime mover for automation in supply chain,” said Plus One Robotics CTO and co-founder, Shaun Edwards. “As the variability of the goods to be handled continues to grow, the need for adaptive vision and seamless robot control is more acute. Our PickOne system is the first to successfully deliver on these requirements, and at pick rates that meet our customers’ throughput demands.”
Plus One Robotics’ initial investment round was led by Schematic Ventures, a thought leader in supply chain automation, with participation from Lerer Hippeau, ff Ventures, First Star, and Dynamo.
“The founder DNA is really something else. Erik is a known leader in the industry with a distinguished career at Yaskawa. Shaun & Paul built the most widely-used open source software platform in industrial robotics,” said Julian Counihan, General Partner at Schematic Ventures. “As a team, they check every box needed to create the next major category of enterprise software.”