Bay Area-based robotics startup RIOS is coming out of stealth today to announce $5 million in funding. The round is being led by Valley Capital Partners and Morpheus Ventures, with participation from a long list of investors, including Grit Ventures, Motus Ventures, MicroVentures, Alumni Ventures Group, Fuji Corporation and NGK Spark Plug Co.
The move comes during a time of increased interest in factory automation. A number of different startups have received massive funding of late, including Berkshire Grey’s massive $263 million raise in January. RIOS’s raise is considerably smaller, of course, but the young company has more to prove.
Even so, investors are clearly eyeing automation with great interest amid an ongoing global pandemic that has both screeched many industries to a halt and led many to look to alternative production elements that remove the human element of virus transmission.
RIOS was founded in 2018, as a spin-out of Stanford University, with help from a number of Xerox PARC engineers. The startup has operated in stealth for the past year and a half while testing its technologies with a select group of partners.
The company’s first product is DX-1, a robot designed for a variety of industrial tasks, including static bin picking and conveyor belt operations. The system is powered by the company’s AI stack, including a perception system and a variety of tactile sensors mounted on the robotic hand.
The plan is to charge a monthly fee for the robotic system that includes a variety of services, including programming, maintenance, monitoring and regular updates.