GrayMatter Robotics, an artificial intelligence robotics solutions company, announced last week it raised $20 million in Series A investment led by Bow Capital and joined by B Capital Group, Calibrate Ventures, OCA Ventures, Pathbreaker Ventures, Swift Ventures, Stage Venture Partners and 3M Ventures.
GrayMatter Robotics products are designed to help manufacturing industries increase productivity, enhance quality consistency and save costs while meeting global demand for manufactured products and improving the quality of life for factory workers.
With the new capital, the company wants to expand its team to meet growing customer demands.
Brual Shah, co-founder and chief technology officer of GrayMatter Robotics, said in a statement that automating surface finishing and treatment applications for mission-critical production environments poses some extremely challenging engineering problems in AI and robotics.
He added that his team’s work is immediately impacting a wide range of industries from recreational equipment to aerospace.
The company’s “Scan&Sand” robot is a flexible sander that can quickly adjust to different shapes and sizes. It can handle a variety of materials including composites, metals, acrylics and plastics.
“Our biggest concern was that our part-mix is very high, so it seemed like a very daunting task to automate such operations. Scan&Sand has the ability to work on a component or a group of components and has a simple one-button operation,” said Jon Coners, senior manufacturing manager at BEGA North America, a lighting company based in Germany with a manufacturing facility and U.S. headquarters in Carpinteria.
“This was our first foray into robotics, so we had to have a partner, not just a vendor, that will really be there for us, and GrayMatter has stepped up to the plate,” he added.
Ariyan Kabir, co-founder and chief executive of GrayMatter Robotics, said in a release that the company is improving shop workers’ lives and enhancing their productivity while allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks.
“Manufacturing drives our economy, and without automating surface finishing and treatment, there is a significant risk the global economy may suffer due to the increasing labor shortage,” Kabir said.
This year, GrayMatter Robotics was one of the winners at the RBR50 Innovation Awards presented by the Robotics Business Review, a publication that covers business and technology developments in global robotics, for its Scan&Sand product.
Last year, the company was awarded $1 million from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant to further develop the core technology behind its product.
“Customer demand has never been higher for robotics and automation solutions, helping manufacturers improve productivity, obtain cost savings, and provide consistent high-quality performance,” Adi Leviatan, president of 3M’s Abrasive Systems Division, said in a statement. “Reinvesting in GrayMatter Robotics aligns with 3M’s efforts to deliver easy-to-use automated abrasive processing systems that address the challenges posed by high-mix manufacturing operations.”