Constance, Germany-based Fruitcore Robotics, a robotic system that uses smart software and innovative mechatronics, has announced it has raised € 17 million in its Series A funding round.
The round was led by UVC Partners, an early stage venture capital firm, with btov Industrial Technologies Fund and the btov Partners network of private investors. European technology investor CNB Capital also took part in this round table.
According to Fruitcore Robotics, the challenges of robot automation include demanding programming, the resulting high total costs, and the connection of all components involved in the automation process. With its technology, Fruitcore Robotics wants to make a difference.
Jens Riegger, CEO of Fruitcore Robotics, explains: “SMBs need flexible systems with which they can implement applications easily and inexpensively. In addition to the robot, this requires above all user-friendly software and intelligent interfaces ”.
The startup developed HORST (Highly Optimized Robotic Systems Technology), a robotic system that uses intelligent software and innovative mechatronics, helping it overcome associated obstacles. The software maps the entire application via a digital twin. The company claims that the "powerful and inexpensive" robot transfers the 1: 1 application to reality.
With HORST, the deep tech company claims to have been able to combine the performance of industrial robots with the ease of use of cobots, drastically reducing costs.
HORST can be used in almost all sectors and industries, for loading and unloading machines, for stacking, sorting and packaging of products, for handling turned, milled and stamped parts, as well as for pick & place applications of small parts.
Commissioning also allows simple and intuitive use of robots for which no programming knowledge is required. “Complex programming throughout the life of the robot results in high costs. On the contrary, the user saves time and money thanks to the ease of handling and the associated flexibility of our robots. Cost-effective automation is possible with just one part and is therefore also possible for SMEs, ”says Patrick Heimburger, CFO of Fruitcore Robotics.
The capital raised from this funding round will help Fruitcore Robotics to expand its European presence and expand its digital services.
“A robot alone cannot yet automate an application; This requires intelligent linking of various components such as grippers, CNC systems or safety systems. With our software, we network these components more tightly than what has been common in the industry today, making the entire application intuitive, digital and even affordable, ”says Jens Riegger.
Now, Fruitcore systems make it possible to control the entire robotic environment by integrating the physical application on a digital platform. In the future, the company is planning extensions to the software and the online platform that will make many applications automatable through plug & play.
The Konstanz-based company is a spin-off of HTWG Konstanz (Hochschule Konstanz Technik Wirtschaft und Gestaltung). Following the research work of Jens Riegger and Manuel Frey in the field of robotics, the first HORST prototypes were produced in 2016. The founders of the company are also Patrick Heimburger, Tim Schmiedl and Tobias Kuentzle.
The team received the EXIST-Gründerstipendium for high start-up projects, initial funding from the federal government and the EU, and founded Fruitcore Robotics GmbH in May 2017. The company now has more than 80 employees and two sites: the head office in Constance le Lac de Constance and another production site in Villingen-Schwenningen.
Fruitcore Robotics specializes in the development, production and marketing of easy-to-use robotic systems. It aims to make automation with industrial robots possible for the masses. The modular portfolio includes the HORST industrial robot, the intuitive horstFX software, the horstCOSMOS.com IoT platform and smart camera recognition capabilities.
Robot systems, including hardware and software, are made in Germany. In addition to robot systems, the company also offers ready-made software packages and solutions with which complete applications can be implemented via plug & play.
The portfolio includes three robot models with spans of 600, 900 and 1,400 millimeters and payloads of between 3 and 12 kilograms.