British Robotics Seed Fund announces first investment – ZOA Robotics
ZOA Robotics has secured seed investment from the British Robotics Seed Fund (BRSF). The investment is the first of a series that have been made by the UK’s robotics-focussed investment firm, and is in a company that is raising further investment on the new and complementary robotics crowdfunding platform Britbots CROWD (see https://britbots.envestry.com/deals/1545 ).
ZOA Robotics’ goal is to develop four-legged robots with the grace of animals that can move anywhere. The company is looking to introduce its low cost highly mobile robots to tackle movement of goods across sites with uneven ground and multiple levels, reducing the use of manual labour to move payloads around. The investment will be used to scale up the existing prototype to carry heavier loads, and implement machine learning for improved control and autonomy.
The robots, dynamic by design and lightweight, are targeted at businesses operating on large or remote sites with uneven terrain where items need moving and where wheels struggle. This includes oil rigs, industrial process plants and construction sites.
ZOA’s robots boost productivity and safety. When used for logistics, the robots reduce workers time spent on fetching parts, equipment or consumables. While remote inspection and maintenance via robots means that workers no longer need to visit hazardous environments.
Thiago Azevedo, the founder and CEO of ZOA Robotics commented: “We are building a four-legged robot about the size of a dog. Customers need only tell it where to go, and the robot automatically negotiates obstacles, uneven terrain and stairs.
“We have a great team with extensive experience in robotics, manufacturing and a focus on customer value proposition. BRSF has been an incredible help in refining our business model and plan. The team’s knowledge and experience is extremely valued as ZOA Robotics establishes itself in this competitive sector.”
A highly experienced entrepreneur, Azevedo has worked as the Commercial Director at Shadow Robot, where he turned the company around, fixed management lines, production and sales. He was also the Commercial Director and co-founder of MGT Teesside, an independent power company which raised £950 million in project finance raised, and is now under construction.
Dominic Keen, CEO of Britbots concluded: “The business is just one of the exciting British robotics start-up we are supporting. Our initial portfolio is shaping up well and demonstrates the innovative British ventures in this dynamic field. However, the investment from the BRSF is just the start. We have now also put the company on our crowdfunding platform and are looking to raise £450,000 in total.”