Diligent Robotics, maker of an autonomous robot assistant for hospitals, has raised $3 million in seed funding.
The raise was headed by True Ventures and Ubiquity Ventures, as well as Next Coast Ventures, Capital Factory, Pathbreaker Ventures, Boom Capital, Grit Ventures and other unnamed angel investors. This adds to another $2.1 million round announced back in the beginning of 2018, as well as a $725,000 National Science Foundation grant.
This week’s funding news was complemented with an announcement that the startup’s hospital robot, called Moxi, is exiting beta testing and has entered market with its first official rollout in a Texas Hospital.
WHAT THEY DO
While Diligent Robotics’ broad aim is to develop robotic assistants for a range of chores or 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 dextrous arm. The company also touts the robot’s “social intelligence,” or features such as an expressive face and motions that are designed to help people feel more comfortable in its presence.
“Our vision is to improve the way people think about their work by giving them more time to utilize their unique human skills, and let friendly robot assistants efficiently take care of their chores,” Andrea Thomaz, CEO and cofounder of Diligent Robotics, said in a statement.
Diligent Robotics was founded in 2017, and last year began beta testing Moxi in four US hospitals, where the company says it was successful.
WHAT IT’S FOR
This latest round will primarily help Diligent Robotics launch Moxi for hospital customers, but will also support hardware and software product strategy and development, according to the company.
There’s little end to the healthcare tasks and capabilities a truly autonomous robot could perform. So far, technologists have pitched — and in some cases are actively working on — at-home physical care, socialization, medication dispensing and even delivery of pediatric neurologic condition therapies.
ON THE RECORD
“Over the last year, Diligent Robotics has made rapid progress in delivering and testing Moxi in multiple hospitals,” Rohit Sharma, partner at True Ventures and board member for Diligent Robotics, said in a statement. “The team continues to demonstrate unmatched robotics-specific innovation by combining social intelligence and human-guided learning capabilities. We're thrilled to continue our partnership with Vivian and Andrea as they build a world-class, leading robotics company.”