Veo Grabs $12M, Led by GV & Lux, to Help Industrial Robots “See”
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the robot immediately stopped. As I pulled back it slowly started to move again and went about its business.
Veo’s system includes a set of infrared 3D cameras placed at various spots in a work station. On the back end, the company’s software fuses the data from those images together in order to reconstruct the scene and constantly track the movement of objects near the robot. Veo says the software can identify humans and the parts the robot is working with, and the system can be configured to follow rules that, say, allow it to touch the part, but not humans. The robot’s response time is around one tenth of a second, and it will generally stop when someone comes within 1.5 feet of it, Sobalvarro says.
Now, Veo must prove to customers that its system works as well as advertised. Sobalvarro says the company will begin testing its technology with pilot customers early next year. He wouldn’t name the initial partners, but says they include a large automaker, a household appliance manufacturer, a consumer packaged goods company, and a firm that operates distribution centers.
“We’ll be doing pilot systems together with them in controlled environments that are set up to replicate their production” lines, Sobalvarro says. Veo’s goal is to begin selling its product more widely in 2019, he adds.
Sobalvarro started Veo in early 2016, while he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Siemens Venture Capital. Veo was formed as an independent company, and Siemens doesn’t have any licensing rights to its technology, Sobalvarro says. The relationship between Veo and Next47, the venture firm formed by Siemens, is a traditional venture capital equity deal, he adds.
Sobalvarro’s co-founders are vice president of engineering Clara Vu, a former senior software engineer at iRobot and a co-founder of Harvest Automation; and Scott Denenberg, Veo’s senior director of hardware and a former senior director of electrical engineering at Jentek Sensors. (The trio is pictured above, with one of the robots.)
The fresh capital will go toward product development and expanding Veo’s team. The company currently has around 10 employees, and that number will grow to about 25 over the next six months, mostly through engineering hires, Sobalvarro says.