AMPLIFIER’s Investment into Micropsi Industries

AMPLIFIER
AMPLIFIER
Sep 15, 2020 · 4 min read

Why would a supply chain VC invest in a robotics AI startup? We explain how important the impact of AI in robotics will be for logistics and look at the barriers to adoption for end-to-end automation.

© Micropsi Industries

For most people, on hearing that we invested into the robotics artificial intelligence startup Micropsi Industries, the reaction is either to express fear of the rise of the machines, or to excitedly ask how soon we can expect robots to be serving us our breakfast.

At Amplifier, we are certainly in the excited camp, but for very different reasons. While most people radically overestimate how developed robotics technology is, there is no doubting it has made huge strides in recent years, driven primarily by innovation in neural and vision technology.

Robotics & AI

For robotics, AI has been a game-changer. That AI will ever usurp the human mind is unlikely, because artificial intelligence is a machine. It lacks surprise and creativity, it is by nature deterministic. It has, however, shown the capacity to unlock problems robotics engineers have been trying to solve for decades, making the long-awaited proliferation a reality.

Robotics & AI in the Logistics Sector

For logistics, the impact will be transformational. Warehouse operators face a number of challenges:

Previous Barriers to Adoption for Automation

Automation and the shift towards fully dark sorting facilities has always had the ability to solve these challenges. Until recently, however, barriers to adoption for end-to-end automation have been too great:

MIRAI

With Micropsi Industries’ MIRAI product these barriers can be reduced, potentially even removing them entirely.

The AI packed into the MIRAI product offers a first-of-its-kind, vision-based robot control system that enables robots to deal with complexity (precision tasks with variance) in production that would be otherwise extremely difficult and/or prohibitively expensive to get around with hand-engineered solutions.

MIRAI, a robot control system by Micropsi Industries, enables industrial robots to handle variance in production.

This is impressive enough, but MIRAI also offers another unique feature, vital to encouraging the proliferation of robots at a time when automation can deliver much-needed resilience in the supply chain. Put simply, it allows robots to be trained in eight to sixteen hours using human demonstration alone, with no knowledge or programming skill required. By manually guiding the robot by the robot’s “wrist”, the MIRAI-system gathers information through sensors and uses the data to learn how to do the task on its own. This ability increases the versatility of the hardware whilst reducing the cost of implementation.

“MIRAI isn’t just a different way of programming industrial robots, it’s a way to make them do things they couldn’t do before: the world is messy, so a robot needs a bit of autonomy to deal with the mess. We’ve developed MIRAI for assembly and testing, now we’re excited to explore what it can do in logistics together with Amplifier!” — Ronnie Vuine, Micropsi Industries CEO

We are excited to be working with one of Europe’s leading deep tech AI robotics companies — making industrial and supply chain transformation a reality.

Continued…

Learning: For more detail on the investment round, to hear from Ronnie (CEO and Founder) and our co-investors, click the link here.

Watching: To see Ronnie (CEO and Founder) in action, speaking at the Rise of AI Conference 2019 about the MIRAI system and its applications, click the link here.

Author: Henry Palmer

Partner, Amplifier Ventures

Amplifier Ventures

Early stage investor across the interconnected supply chain

Amplifier Ventures

Amplifier regards the supply chain as the backend operating system of the global economy and fundamental to industrial transformation. By investing in logistics and mobility technologies, we aim to reshape old industry by addressing historical inefficiencies.

AMPLIFIER

Written by

AMPLIFIER

Early-stage venture capital fund, investing in disruptive mobility and logistics tech across the supply chain. www.amplifierlab.io

Amplifier Ventures

Amplifier regards the supply chain as the backend operating system of the global economy and fundamental to industrial transformation. By investing in logistics and mobility technologies, we aim to reshape old industry by addressing historical inefficiencies.