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Transforming Manufacturing With Intelligent Inspection Automation

Elementary Robotics, a Los Angeles based robotics startup, has announced a $12.7M Series A funding round led by Threshold Ventures (formerly DFJ), an early-stage investor in disruptive technology companies. Founded in 2017, Elementary has built a hardware and software platform for applying machine learning and computer vision for intelligent automation of quality and traceability workflows in manufacturing and logistics.

The new round of capital, which also had participation from existing investors Fika Ventures, Fathom Capital, Ubiquity Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures, allows Elementary Robotics to continue developing and deploying its automation products at scale. With this round, Threshold Ventures Partner Mo Islam has joined the Elementary Robotics Board of Directors.

Manufacturers today are dealing with an array of challenges to keep up, including securing and retaining skilled labor, producing high quality products at larger volumes and lower prices, and implementing remote production monitoring. Visual inspection and traceability have traditionally been especially difficult to automate, often resulting in lower throughput, added headcount, high turnover, inconsistent results, and low data tracking.

Elementary Robotics’ products automate inspections and help customers achieve value across the production line by using deep learning to find defects, including ones that manufacturers didn’t even know to look for. The Elementary platform delivers inspections that are easy to set up, traceable in the cloud, and allow for human inspectors to be kept in the loop to further train the system over time.

The system offers 5DOF (3 cartesian and a 2 axis wrist) to provide human-line 3D motion inspection.

“Toyota is always looking for ways to leverage innovative technologies to help our employees and improve the manufacturing process, and we’re excited to partner with Elementary in our Indiana plant,” said Jason Puckett, Vice President of Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana. “Elementary’s platform will bring value to our production lines by allowing us to automate traceability scans and add AI, machine vision, and automation.”

Elementary Robotics is working with a number of world class manufacturing and logistics companies where the solution has delivered the following benefits:

  • Transition to 100% inspection where previously only sample-based inspection occurred
  • Remote visibility into quality and production lines
  • Automation of known visual inspections and discovery of new defects, resulting in decreased scrap rates
  • Standardization of inspection tasks and ease of duplication across different factories and production lines in an affordable manner

“Elementary has developed a software-defined robotics solution to automate visual inspection, leveraging deep learning-based computer vision and low-complexity, rapidly deployable hardware,” said Mo Islam, Partner, Threshold Ventures. “We were immediately impressed with the team’s product-led sales approach, and are excited by their potential as a leader in the industrial machine vision space.”

“Building Elementary has been a fantastic journey over the past three years, and I’ve enjoyed working with our world-class partners to develop scalable solutions to their problems, which our team is well-suited to solve,” said Arye Barnehama, founder and CEO of Elementary Robotics. “I’m extremely excited to go public with what we’re building, continue to support more companies with their quality and traceability needs, and grow the Elementary team to expand and deploy our innovative platform.” 

Elementary is a full-stack robotics company tackling machine learning for robotic hardware from the ground up. The Los Angeles-based company, incubated at Idealab in Pasadena, was founded by industry veterans of IoT, wearables, augmented reality and robotics from Qualcomm, Caltech, NASA JPL, SpaceX and Art Center College of Design to create assistive tools to improve human output of repetitive tasks.

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