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German software startup Wandelbots has secured a total investment of €6 million for the development of smart clothing to train robots. The funding has come from a set of investors including Paua Ventures, EQT Ventures, Atlantic Labs, SAP manager Christian Dahlen and entrepreneur Felix Haas. With the funding, the company also aims to widen its team and extending its global reach. Besides, establishing a new office in China is in the pipeline.
Regarding the investment, the partner at Paua Ventures Georg Stockinger said, “At Paua Ventures, we’re proud to back the extremely talented Wandelbots team and provide the resources and guidance for the company’s rapid expansion. Wandelbots will be one of the key companies enabling the mass-adoption of industrial robotics by revolutionising how robots are trained and used. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a steep decline in robotic hardware costs. Now, Wandelbots is resolving the remaining hurdle to disruptive growth in industrial automation – the ease and speed of implementation and teaching. Both factors together will create a perfect storm, driving the next wave of industrial revolution.”
Wandelbots – demonstrative interaction robotics technology
Programming industrial robots in dynamic work environments is an intricate, protracted and expensive task. And, Wandelbots provides innovative solutions for training robots in a hassle-free, efficient and economical manner. The Dresden-based startup makes sensor-laden clothing that enables operators to demonstrate actions for a robot to imitate. By means of demonstration-based training, robots can be programmed without any encoding and expert guidance. The instinctive user interface abets in adaptability and precision of the learned tasks.
CEO of Wandelbots, Christian Piechnick, elucidated, “Today, robots are only accessible to companies with long-running low-mix, high-volume production. As more than 70% of costs are directly related to the software controlling the robot, they’re unattractive for the production of small batch sizes. We’ve developed a universal language for robots based on smart clothing. Anyone, regardless of their technical or cultural background, can now teach any robot in the most natural, intuitive way – by demonstration.”
Wandelbots was founded in 2017 by a squad of alumni from Technische Universität Dresden including Christian Piechnick, Maria Piechnick, Georg Püschel, Frank Fitzek, Giang Nguyen, Jan Falkenberg and Sebastian Werner. Within one year of establishment, the startup has won market credibility and maintains a list of venerated clients including Volkswagen, Midea and Infineon.
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