Remember the IkeaBot? The robot went viral for its ability to build Ikea furniture as well (or better) than humans can. The team behind the project went on to found Eureka Robotics, which announced today that it has raised a pre-Series A round of $4.25 million, led by The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), one of Asia's largest deep-tech investment firms, with participation from Vietnam's Touchstone Partners and returning investor ATEQ.
Eureka Robotics’ products are based on research from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and MIT. It focuses on robotic software and systems to automate tasks that require High Accuracy and High Agility (HAHA). Its robots are used for precision handling, assembly, inspection, drilling and other tasks.
The Eureka Controller’s High-Accuracy calibration synchronizes the reference frames of the robot and camera with high accuracy, enabling submillimeter accuracy on vision-guided tasks, while Force Control gives the robot the ability to perform tight assembly and insertion, with clearance down to 50 micron. Meanwhile, its High Agility involves computer vision that allows robots to recognize and locate randomly placed objects. Once the robot finds the position of an object, real-time motion planning helps it move toward it.
An example of how the Eureka Controller can be used is the Archimedes, which deployed technologies originally developed for the Ikea Robot to a shop floor for the first time. It is capable of handling multiple-sized lenses and mirrors and loading those delicate objects onto a tray in order to be coated. Eureka co-founder Dr. Pham Quang Cuong told TechCrunch that the Archimedes is currently operating in a factory in Singapore, serving a U.S. laser lens manufacturer, and that the company has received multiple follow-up orders of the robot.
The funding will be used on accelerating development of Eureka Controller, the company’s flagship product, which allows factories to deploy HAHA tasks in System Integrators and factories. Eureka co-founder Dr. Pham said that “while the core technologies are mature and have already been deployed in production, we want to make those technologies really easy to use by System Integrators. Making advanced technologies easy to use by non-programmer engineers is actually difficult.” Part of the funding will be used to grow Eureka Robotics’ software engineering team and product teams to work on the Eureka Controller.
Eureka Robotics also plans to expand its commercialization in Singapore and China, and new markets like Japan and Vietnam, with the help of UTEC and Touchstone, respectively. It currently has offices in Singapore and France and distribution partners in China, Japan and the U.S.