Canadian Plastics

Quebec-based automation supplier Omnirobotic gets $6.5 million financing for AI development

The funding enables the Laval company continue building autonomous robotic capabilities for high-mix production environments.

October 6, 2020   Canadian Plastics

An Omnirobotic robotic application. Photo Credit: Omnirobotic

A Quebec-based robotics automation startup has closed a seed round of $6.5 million to further develop and commercialize its artificial intelligence (AI) platform for factory robots.

Omnirobotic, founded in 2016 and headquartered in Laval, plans to use the new capital to continue building its autonomous robotic capabilities for production environments. The company intends for its robots to see, plan, and execute processes such as painting, welding, and machining, with limited human oversight.

Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Export Development Canada (EDC) led the funding round with participation from Real Ventures and a joint venture including the company’s current employees. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ and EDC recently agreed to work closer together to support the growth of companies. Their joint investment in Omnirobotic is a first in this partnership.

“Our AI platform shows potential for significant productivity gains, along with substantial energy and consumable savings per part produced that are meaningful to all kinds of industrial manufacturers,” said Francois Simard, Omnirobotic CEO and founder. “The technology itself is transformative because these manufacturers will finally be able to use industrial robots for value-added tasks on ​never-before-seen parts within ​unstructured environments.”

Because conventional industrial robots are unable to solve many of the challenges involved in the mass customization of goods, Omnirobotic’s approach enables robotic production processes to respond to parts in near real-time.

“Now that any process can be intelligently automated, manufacturers will be looking for their own ways to automate tasks for which they otherwise have difficulty recruiting and retaining skilled, qualified workers – something even more essential in the wake of additional workforce challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Simard said. “This is both critical for individual firms and also reflects a growing consensus among many robot and process equipment manufacturers. As such, in the next few months, we will also be announcing multiple commercial partnerships focused on targeting currently under-addressed high-mix firms.”


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