In logistics facilities, the picking process, which involves retrieving items from shelves for processing, is one of the most time-consuming tasks. To accelerate this process, warehouse staff often use robotic arms that require minimal human input. However, deploying such robotic systems has historically been challenging because they typically need custom algorithms for each type of item being processed.
Covariant, a company developing warehouse robots that can be deployed faster than traditional automation technologies, has secured $75 million in funding. This brings the company’s total funding to $222 million. The round was co-led by returning investors Radical Ventures and Index Ventures, with participation from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Amplify Partners, Gates Frontier Holdings, AIX Ventures, and Northgate Capital.
Effortless robotic picking:
Covariant aims to use the funds to help retailers and logistics providers rapidly implement robotic picking systems without disrupting existing operations, ensuring immediate benefits. The company, formerly known as Embodied Intelligence Inc., offers robotic arms that reportedly eliminate the need for manual configuration. Covariant’s systems can handle “almost any” item right out of the box, enabling retailers and logistics organizations to deploy them more quickly than traditional systems.
Powering Covariant’s robots is the Covariant Brain, an in-house developed intelligence system. The company claims that this system was trained using data from millions of robotic item processing operations and can handle a wide range of products, including clothing, groceries, and mixed-item containers.
Scaling up for future growth:
With 6x growth in 2022, Covariant is poised for even greater expansion. CEO Peter Chen notes that the new capital infusion will enable the company to scale more quickly, allowing more retailers to automate their fulfillment networks and better respond to changing business needs.
According to Jordan Jacobs, Managing Partner of Radical Ventures, Covariant is the world’s leading AI robotics company. Their AI-powered robots are deployed at scale to secure global supply chains, improving brand trust, retailer confidence, and profitability.
Index Ventures Partner Mike Volpi believes that Covariant maintains a strong competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving AI robotics market. The company’s team of AI experts and their unified AI platform are shaping the future of automation.
With over 300 robots already in use in warehouses worldwide, Covariant is committed to providing AI-powered automation solutions that meet the demands of today’s modern warehouse. Their AI-driven robotic picking applications include order sorting, item induction, good-to-person order picking, kitting, and depalletization.