tDiligent Robotics, the maker of an autonomous robot helper for use in the hospital, has brought in a $10 million Series A round.
DNX Ventures headlined the raise, and will see Q. Motiwala, a partner, joining the Diligent Robotics board. True Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, E14 Fund, Promus Ventures and Grit Ventures also participated in the fundraise.
WHAT THEY DO
While Diligent Robotics’ broad aim is to develop robotic assistants for a range of chores and activities, the company has so far focused on healthcare use cases for its technology with Moxi. The robot performs non-patient-facing tasks around the hospital, such as lab-sample delivery or linen removal, which it handles using its mobile base and a dexterous arm. The company also touts the robot’s “social intelligence” – features such as an expressive face and motions that are designed to help people feel more comfortable in its presence.
“We build artificial intelligence that enables service robots to collaborate with people and adapt to dynamic human environments,” Dr. Vivian Chu, cofounder and Chief Technology Officer of Diligent Robotics, said in a statement. “Diligent Robotics is delivering a new class of hospital service robots by building a solution that can autonomously navigate a hospital to perform collaborative tasks with nursing staff.”
Diligent Robotics was founded in 2017, and in 2018 began beta testing Moxi in four U.S. hospitals, where the company says it was successful. Less than half a year ago, it raised $3 million in seed funding and launched the assistive robot onto the healthcare market.
WHAT IT'S FOR
Diligent Robotics wrote in its funding announcement that the raise will help scale the product for a broader customer base. It's also continued support for the company's hardware and software development.
Healthcare providers are notoriously overburdened – perhaps more now than ever thanks to COVID-19. Technologies like Moxi fall into the broad range of tech products seeking to counter medical professional burnout, a family that includes automation technologies, digital scribes and AI-based insight generation.
Autonomous healthcare robots for use cases outside of standard hospital tasks have also received interest within the industry. Some examples here include at-home physical care, socialization, medication dispensing and even delivery of pediatric neurologic condition therapies.
ON THE RECORD
“We envision a future powered by robots that work seamlessly with human teams,” Dr. Andrea Thomaz, cofounder and CEO of Diligent Robotics, said in a statement. “We are enabling our hospital customers to redesign workflows for their frontline teams, letting nurses make full use of their specialized skills, letting robots handle tedious fetching tasks and other routine work.”