Pittsburgh’s own IAM Robotics has raised $20 million in its latest venture funding round, according to Venture Beat.
The money will be used to build other teams within IAM Robotics, a company that designs robots that make shipping warehouses function more efficiently.
“Distributors and retailers need more workers to meet the demands of e-commerce,” CEO Joe Reed told Venture Beat. “In the U.S. alone, consumers spend 40 billion hours picking items from store shelves.”
The funding was led by KCK, which is a fund based out of both New York and San Francisco.
IAM was founded in 2012 from former researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Their first product was a robot that could complete basic picking and sorting functions. That flagship product, called Swift, is a 6 ft. tall robot that can autonomously identify and locate products that it then picks up and places for organization. IAM’s other product, Flash, uses machine learning to scan bar codes and record dimensions of goods.
“As we buy more items online, that work moves to the warehouse,” Reed told Venture Beat. “Currently, there are not enough people in the workforce to do this for us. The answer is to give organizations a tool that increases existing worker productivity, fosters greater job satisfaction, and maintains operational flexibility.”