MOV.AI raises $3M in seed funding to create an ‘Android for Robotics’

We all know what Android for smartphones is. A free, (almost) open source operating system for smartphones. But right now there is no equivalent of the “Android for robots.” Instead there are many, many proprietary systems. A new startup plans to address this problem in order for the robotics market to really take off, and for it to have a good slice fo the pie.

MOV.AI plans to create an ecosystem where developers, integrators and manufacturers collaborate to develop the first industry-grade O/S for autonomous intelligent collaborative robots. This could potentially produce smarter robots on a large-scale for operation and production lines.

It’s now raised $3M in seed funding in a round led by Israel-based Viola Ventures and SF-based NFX.

MOV.AI describes itself as an ‘ROS compatible operating system’. That means it enables industry-grade deployment of fleets of autonomous robots. The idea is that this will decouple the hardware from the software (a problem in robot-land), and simpler R&D, thus making robot automation affordable for any player, large or small.

This ROS will aim to cover easier mapping, robust and autonomous navigation, obstacle avoidance, cloud-based software-distribution, compliance with safety and cybersecurity’s best practices and modern end-user interface.

The main target audiences of MOV.AI are manufacturers of material handling equipment, automation integrators, and other collaborative robot manufacturers.

Limor Schweitzer (pictured), founder and CEO of MOV.AI says: “At MOV.AI, we have made it our mission to contribute to a world where intelligent robots perform most of the common physical tasks, which will free humankind to be more creative and productive, and enable faster market scalability. In other words we will be able to transform human operated mobile machines into autonomous robots that work safely together with people and other robots in any environment at all scalable levels”.

Ronen Nir, general partner at Viola Ventures says: “We believe that the impact and potential value of MOV.AI’s ecosystem will gain traction as more large customers, distributors and developers come on board.”

MOV.AI says is currently piloting projects with large automation integrators and industrial operators.