Clearpath Robotics, the self-driving vehicle startup, has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round to scale up production of its self-driving vehicles. The startups make vehicles that autonomously move boxes and pallets around factories, warehouses and distribution centers. Matt Rendall, CEO of Clearpath, commented that “Boxes and pallets moving around the world in the global supply chain are the circulatory system for global commerce. We believe if we can move them more efficiently we can do profound things for the economy”.
Founded in 2008, originally as a computer vision and robotics engineering consultancy, Clearpath today employs 150 full-time in Kitchener. It intends to use a portion of its new funding for hiring in sales, marketing and customer support — staff the company will need to serve larger customers. The startup’s OTTO robots employ LiDAR and other sensors to perceive the path they need to travel and avoid collisions with people and other objects in factory and warehouse environments. The devices are operated behind a company’s firewall, as security poses a huge concern for most manufacturers. The Series B funding will help Clearpath develop software that can differentiate its robots in the world of materials handling, and to develop new robots sized and equipped for different jobs.