Manufacturing is evolving during this pandemic and OTTO Motors is leading the charge.
OTTO Motors, the developers of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) designed for industry use, have announced US$29 million in Series C funding.
The funding will be used to expand their global network and invest in their core technologies. The company makes industrial robots that aid manufacturing companies with self-driving technology used to move materials throughout warehouse facilities. Many of their AMRs are used in Fortune Global 500 companies including GE, Nestle and Toyota.
OTTO Motors is a division of Clearpath Robotics, a company started by four University of Waterloo engineering students in 2009. They wanted to take their passion for building robots and combine it with their desire to make a difference.
With the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, OTTO Motors is seeing an increased demand for their autonomous robots across many manufacturing sectors. As employers are becoming more aware of social distancing restrictions, many are coming to the realization that these robots may be the solution to their problems.
“Mobile robots are no longer a luxury in the workplace; they are a necessity,” said Clearpath CEO and co-founder Matthew Rendall. “In a post-COVID world, AMRs enhance worker safety and bring resiliency to supply chains. As enterprises adapt, AMR demand will accelerate globally. This investment will enable us to grow to meet the evolving needs of the factories and warehouses of the future anywhere in the world.”
This announcement follows the company’s partnership announcement in February with Japan-based trading company Altech. This partnership will help OTTO Motors to expand into the Japanese market.
In a recent conversation with Communitech, Rendall notes that many of their successes are rooted in the Waterloo ecosystem. “The combination of cutting-edge, advanced technologists coming out of the University of Waterloo – we’ve got a very strong relationship with the autonomous vehicles lab at the University of Waterloo – combined with the deep heritage in manufacturing and industrial automation [gives Waterloo Region] a unique intersection of skill sets that you’d be really hard-pressed to bring together anywhere else in Canada.”