ZOA Robotics, a “biologically inspired robot creator, has secured seed investment from the British Robotics Seed Fund (BRSF). The £85,000 investment is said to be the first of a series that have been made by the UK’s robotics-focussed investment firm. ZOA Robotics is also raising further investment on the complementary robotics crowdfunding platform Britbots CROWD, a crowdfunding platform that officially launched at the end of last month. The new investment in ZOA will be used to scale the existing prototype to carry heavier loads, and implement machine learning for improved control and autonomy.
ZOA Robotics’ goal is to develop four-legged robots that possess the grace of animals that can move anywhere. The company is looking to introduce low cost highly mobile robots for movement of goods across uneven ground and multiple levels, reducing the use of manual labour to move around payloads.
The robots are targeted at businesses operating on large or remote sites with uneven terrain where items need moving and where wheels struggle. This includes oil rigs, industrial process plants and construction sites.
“We are building a four-legged robot about the size of a large dog. Customers need only tell it where to go, and the robot automatically negotiates obstacles, uneven terrain and stairs,” said Thiago Azevedo, founder and CEO of ZOA Robotics. “We have a great team with extensive experience in robotics, manufacturing and a focus on customer value proposition. BRSF has been an incredible help in refining our business model and plan. The team’s knowledge and experience is extremely valued as ZOA Robotics establishes itself in this competitive sector.”
Azevedo is described as a highly experienced entrepreneur. He has worked as the Commercial Director at Shadow Robot, where he apparently turned the company around, fixed management lines, production and sales. Azevedo was also the Commercial Director and co-founder of MGT Teesside, an independent power company which raised £950 million in project finance raised, and is now under construction.
Dominic Keen, CEO of Britbots, described ZOA Robotics as an exciting British venture;
“Our initial portfolio is shaping up well and demonstrates the innovative British ventures in this dynamic field. However, the £85,000 investment from the BRSF is just the start. We have now also put the company on our Britbots CROWD platform and are looking to augment the amount raised.”
Britbots is a business mentoring company that seeks to champion the achievements of robotics start-up across the UK. Its services include: consulting on growth strategies; publicity via presentations and articles; and a think-tank on the use of robotics in public policy. (www.britbots.com)
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