Startup Trends: 4 emerging robotics startups and their innovations

Dozens of companies are developing robotics technologies to automate the way routine practices from cooking fast food to driving trucks are done.

Even Apple may be getting in on the act. According to an April Bloomberg article, the iPhone and personal computer maker has teams quietly exploring a push into robotics, according to people familiar with the company’s efforts.

But various startups – including Miso Robotics, Agility Robotics, Gecko Robotics, and Kodiak Robotics – have been creating robots for several years.

Miso Robotics

The Pasadena, Calif.-based company announced in early June, according to TechCrunch, that it has created an updated version of its fast food-cooking robot, Flippy. The new robot, Flippy 2, in the words of Miso Robotics CEO Mike Bell “increases production exponentially” over the previous version. The robot is more compact than its predecessor and features a new “Autobin” system that uses AI to recognize raw ingredients.

These robots are being used by fast food chains including Jack in the Box and White Castle.

Founded in 2016, Miso’s Forge Price™ is $10.05 as of June 14, 2024, which implies a valuation of $492.87 million. Among the company’s key investors are Acacia Research Corporation, Hanfield Venture Partners, J Heart Ventures, Knockout Capital, Match Robotics VC, and Trousdale Ventures.

Agility Robotics

The Tangent, Ore.-based company has developed a walking, two-legged, and two-armed robot named Digit that can move packages on a factory floor and load trailers. In early April, the company announced it had struck a partnership with Manhattan Associates, a global leader in supply chain commerce.

Agility Robotics and Manhattan Associates will work to integrate Digit robots and Agility Arc, Agility’s cloud automation platform for managing fleets of Digits, with Manhattan Associate’s Active Warehouse Management system.

Agility says on its website that Digit robots can “operate in tight areas, reach out to similar heights as people can, walk up and down stairs, ramps, and elevators and interact with the real world similar to a person.”

Founded in 2015, Agility Robotics Forge Price™ is $34.14 as of June 14, 2024, which implies a valuation of $606.93 million. Among the company’s leading investors are Amazon, MFV Partners, TDK Ventures, and Sony.

Gecko Robotics

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company has created a wall-climbing robot that uses ultrasound sensors and high-definition cameras that can inspect and draw digital maps of the physical assets of its clients, whether a factory, an oil and gas facility, or an aging bridge.

In late April, Gecko announced that it had inked a multi-year contract with ADNOC Gas, an integrated gas processing company and a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The deal will allow for Gecko’s robots to be used across ADNOC Gas sites for purposes of facilitating maintenance and reducing downtime and CO2 emissions.

Founded in 2013, Gecko’s Forge Price™ is $31.59 as of June 14, 2024, which implies a valuation of $632.81 million. Among the company’s key investors are entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Drive Capital, Founders Fund, Snowpoint Ventures, and US Innovative Technology Fund.

Kodiak Robotics

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has developed self-driving trucks that it hopes will help redefine the future of logistics.

In January, according to TechCrunch, the company unveiled its latest autonomous truck at the CES 2024 trade show in Las Vegas. “Packed inside this sixth-generation semi-truck are two — and sometimes three — of every mechanical component that is critical for safe operations, including braking, steering, sensors and computers,” TechCrunch reported. “Those redundant systems are there as a backup in case anything were to fail while its self-driving truck barrels down a highway without a driver behind the wheel.”

Founded in 2018, Kodiak’s Forge Price™ is $2.10 as of June 14, 2024, which implies a valuation of $454.42 million. Among the company’s financial backers are Aliya Capital Partners, BMW Ventures, Battery Ventures, and Bridgestone Americas.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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