Intuition Robotics, an artificial intelligence company that has built an in-home companion robot, has raised $36 million in Series B funding.
The raise was headed by SPARX Group and OurCrowd, with additional participation from Toyota AI Ventures, Sompo Holdings, iRobot, Union Tech Ventures, Happiness Capital, Samsung Next, Capital Point and Bloomberg Beta. It brings the AI company’s total fundraising to $58 million.
WHAT THEY DO
Intuition Robotics’ AI efforts are split into two camps: digital assistants designed for use inside of a car, and a countertop companion robot for seniors called ElliQ.
The latter effort takes a more proactive and conversational approach to user engagement than the more mainstream devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, an approach that the company says is more natural for those unfamiliar with tech. Through voice, emotive gestures and a paired tablet screen, ElliQ allows seniors to initiate video calls, send messages, schedule appointments and receive medication reminders.
The company says that ElliQ devices have logged more than 10,000 days in the homes of older US adults in the last 12 months alone, with each user spending a minimum of 90 consecutive days with their digital companion in the home. Founded in 2016, Intuition Robots now boasts a staff of 85 spread across its offices in Israel, San Francisco and Greece.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The company said in its announcement that the raise would fund the continued development of its tech and AI capabilities.
"This investment will fuel the evolution of agents from utilitarian digital assistants to full-fledged digital companions that are at our side, anticipating our needs and seamlessly, proactively improving our lives by helping us achieve certain outcomes," Dor Skuler, CEO and cofounder of Intuition Robotics, said in a statement. "Our cognitive AI technology has the potential to transform the way people and machines interact through empathetic relationships built on trust, exhibiting highly personalized and delightful experiences that amplify our customers' brands.”
The company also hinted at plans to push its approach into additional use cases.
As the senior population’s growth outstrips that of the clinical and care workforce, technologists have been eyeing at-home AI companions and other technologies as a means of promoting independence and staving off loneliness. On par with ElliQ is Catalia Health’s Mabu, another countertop AI companion with an emphasis on conversation and medication reminders, or mobile robotic companions such as Cutii. Meanwhile, some researchers have looked into adding basic medication reminders and AI to toy cats and dogs designed for older adults.