Cobalt Robotics, a business that creates interior security robots that operate alongside human guards, said today that it has raised $35 million in series B funding headed by Coatue, a worldwide investment group.
Cobalt Robotics, Autonomous indoor robots are produced by the company with the goal of addressing significant security concerns for commercial settings. By utilising lidar, ultrasonic, depth sensors, cameras, wide-angle day and night cameras, mics, and two-way video chat displays, the company’s solutions allow security officers or building managers to remotely communicate with a person that the robot is approaching.
The funding follows a $13 million series A investment in March 2018, increasing the total raised by the San Mateo, California-based firm to almost $50 million.
Cobalt isn’t the only company vying for a piece of the $119.4 billion physical security industry by 2023. There’s Knightscope Security, which expects to seek more than $50 million in pre-IPO funding, and Robotic Security Systems, a Dutch firm. Rapyuta Robotics, Aptonomy, and Otsaw Digital are among the company’s competitors.
“Security is fundamentally about trust and reputation, and it needs to be reinforced across all aspects of the company: founders, employees, technology, and financial backers. Our financial backers—such as Bloomberg Beta, Sequoia Capital, and now Coatue—have been instrumental to our success so far, and they will be instrumental in our next phase of growth too,” said Dr. Travis Deyle, Cobalt CEO. “Our goal is to combine the best parts of machines (unwavering attention, perfect recall, and super-human sensing) with the best aspects of people (warmth, responsiveness, and adaptability) to create service robots that dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone and fundamentally redefine the modern workplace.”
The wandering robots can scan badges and function as a mobile PA system and alarm, and they can also dock themselves when they run out of power. They can also travel across closed-off areas by connecting wirelessly with access control readers, thanks to a recently implemented door integration feature.
Cobalt, which was founded in 2016, plans to utilize the additional money to grow across the United States. The five-foot robots patrol workstations along pre-determined paths, using machine learning to detect abnormalities such as open doors, environmental hazards, and intruders. The robots may call a remote human support staff to interpret and act on concerns if necessary.
According to Research and Markets, the physical security industry is expected to reach about $119.4 billion by 2023. Security robots, according to Cobalt, are a new industry tool that improves security programmes by “bridging the gap between traditional technology and services like cameras, access control, and human guards.”
Using AI and machine learning, Cobalt’s five-foot cone-shaped, touchscreen, and LED-touting robots patrol work environments along predetermined routes, looking for abnormalities like open doors, environmental dangers, and intruders and signalling for help when necessary. With over 60 sensors (including a 360-degree RGB sensor, infrared sensors, a thermal camera, depth and ultrasonic sensors, lidar, and environmental sensors), they can navigate both brightly and dimly lit environments. They also integrate with existing security platforms and a cloud-based performance monitoring dashboard.
Optionally equipped with badge scanners, mobile PA systems, and sirens, the wandering robots dock on their own when their batteries run low. And thanks to a recently added door integration feature, they may now enter restricted areas by wirelessly interacting with access control readers.
Customers of Cobalt pay a monthly membership fee that gives them access to the robots, software updates, and remote assistance from experts. Deyle promotes it as an addition to current systems like manned security guards & access control systems, not a substitute for them (ACS).
With installations at locations owned by businesses in the technology, defence, finance, and industrial sectors, including many in the Fortune 50, Cobalt claims to have created a veritable footing. According to Deyle, Cobalt increased the size of its engineering and operations teams this year while strengthening its security and facilities teams in preparation for future development.
The company’s robots-as-a-service concept combines autonomous patrolling robots with human specialists to provide businesses with a 24-hour security solution that “complements current security assets such as manned security guards and access control systems (ACS).”
CNBC visited Cobalt Robotics CEO and co-founder Travis Deyle at Fuseproject, Yves Behar’s design firm, to witness the machines in action. The Cobalt’s appearance and feel, which is more like consumer gear than business equipment, was aided by Fuseproject.
Cobalt Robotics is a dependable security partner who helps businesses of all sizes become safer, more secure, and more productive. Cobalt’s innovative Robots-as-a-Service concept combines a remote security operations centre with on-premises security robots, combining all the benefits of a machine with the flexibility, responsiveness, and empathy of a human being. Coatue, Sequoia Capital, and Bloomberg Beta are among the company’s world-class investors. Visit cobaltrobotics.com for more details.