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RoboBusiness Pitchfire: Meet the 4 competing startups

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The Pitchfire Startup Competitors has been an opening-day spotlight for years now at RoboBusiness, which runs Oct. 18-19 in Santa Clara, Calif. Pitchfire, which occurs on Oct. 18 from 4:15-5 PM on the Santa Clara Conference Heart, is a must-attend occasion for buyers, robotics entrepreneurs and innovation leaders alike. Attendees get a primary glimpse at cutting-edge applied sciences from robotics’ most enjoyable rising corporations, and the chance to forge new industrial partnerships.

This yr, 4 robotics startups will compete for the $5,000 first-place prize. Every startup will get 5 minutes to explain their firm’s answer, enterprise mannequin, worth proposition and extra. After all of the contestants have pitched, Pitchfire judges will examine notes, come to a consensus, and announce a winner primarily based on who they consider to be finest primed for industrial success.

RoboBusiness is the main occasion targeted on creating industrial robots. There will probably be 60-plus audio system, 60-plus exhibitors and demos on the expo flooring, networking receptions and extra. RoboBusiness is co-located with the Discipline Robotics Engineering Discussion board, an occasion targeted on methods to efficiently develop robots that function in wide-ranging, outside, dynamic environments. Additionally co-located with RoboBusiness is DeviceTalks West, the premier business occasion for medical know-how professionals, at present in its ninth yr. Each occasions entice engineering and enterprise professionals from a broad vary of healthcare and medical know-how backgrounds.

Firms which have beforehand competed in Pitchfire embrace Tatum Robotics, Southie Autonomy, Sadako Applied sciences, Autonomous Marine Methods, inVia Robotics, Catalina Well being, Cubit, Rokid, RightHand Robotics, Tender Robotics and Knightscope.

Here’s a take a look at this yr’s individuals:

Date Based: September 21, 2021
Location: Seattle, Wash.
No. of staff: 2
Funding so far: $0
Web site:

AIVOT supplies software program for robots to carry out numerous open-ended duties in unstructured settings. AIVOT learns new expertise by following spoken directions and observing human demos. The self-learning agent improves expertise with suggestions and expertise and makes use of imaginative and prescient to carry out the duties. The top-to-end software program stack may be deployed on any third-party {hardware} (robotic arms, AMRs, and humanoid type elements).

Date Based: January 30, 2023
Location: Seattle, Wash.
No. of staff: 4
Funding so far: $200,000
Web site:

Glidance is creating a self-guided mobility help, known as Glide, for folks with sight loss. Glide helps an individual with sight loss get round with ease and confidence by guiding them to the place they need to go utilizing superior autonomous guiding applied sciences and a novel mechanical design selling a way of company and independence. Glide additionally makes use of haptic and audio suggestions to assist present a protected strolling expertise for its customers.

Date Based: March 14, 2023
Location: Detroit, Michigan
No. of staff: 3
Funding so far: $150,000
Web site:

Staxel automates micro-fulfillment utilizing robots and synthetic intelligence, optimizing stock administration and fleet operations. Staxel makes use of a singular autonomous cellular robotic design that may transfer alongside flooring, vertically and between cabinets. Staxel stated it should quickly launch a totally automated darkstore with a 10x enhance in operational effectivity.

TRIC Robotics
Date Based: June 17, 2017
Location: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
No. of staff: 10
Funding so far: $802,000
Web site:

TRIC Robotics helps farmers management pests and illness utilizing ultraviolet mild in its place for chemical pesticides. Ultraviolet mild is a resistance and chemical free answer that’s extra sustainable and efficient than chemical compounds. The corporate’s answer is a tractor-scale robotic that carries UV lights up and down the rows as a pest management service that replaces their current pest management prices.

Meet the Judges

The panel of judges will embrace:

Sanjay Aggarwal: Enterprise Associate, F-Prime Capital

Aggarwal is a Enterprise Associate targeted on frontier know-how funding alternatives. Previous to becoming a member of F-Prime Capital, he was CEO of Unicel Applied sciences, an India-focused cellular messaging firm. Aggarwal scaled Unicel to turn into a frontrunner within the Indian market and efficiently exited the enterprise to Karix Cell.

Earlier in his profession, he labored at Devonshire Buyers (the non-public fairness group of Constancy Investments), McKinsey and Firm in its U.S. and India workplaces, and at Berkeley Course of Management (acquired by Moog Inc), the place he constructed machine automation methods. Aggarwal holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan Faculty of Administration.

Mike Oitzman, Editor, Robotics, WTWH Media

Mike Oitzman is Editor of WTWH’s Robotics Group and founding father of the Cell Robotic Information. Oitzman is a robotics business veteran with 25-plus years of expertise at numerous high-tech corporations within the roles of promoting, gross sales and product administration.




Daniel Theobald, Chairman & Founder, Vecna Robotics

Daniel Theobald is the Chairman and founding father of Vecna Robotics, a versatile, clever materials dealing with automation firm.  Daniel has a long time of expertise main analysis scientists and groups of engineers in creating cutting-edge know-how. He has 67 issued patents and greater than 30 patents pending.

Daniel has been on the forefront of robotics for greater than 20 years, working carefully with DARPA, DOD, NASA, NIH, USDA and plenty of others to advance using robots and AI software program to enhance provide chain automation. Along with founding Vecna Robotics, Daniel additionally co-founded MassRobotics, a non-profit devoted to the worldwide development of the robotics business and Twisted Fields, an natural analysis farm devoted to the development of automation in agriculture to permit humanity to farm sustainably—as nature meant—whereas nonetheless assembly the calls for of recent agriculture. Daniel is devoted to the concept that know-how can be utilized to empower folks worldwide to dwell extra fulfilling lives.

Oliver Mitchell, Associate, ff Enterprise Capital
Oliver Mitchell is a accomplice at ff Enterprise Capital. Oliver first joined ff VC in 2014 as a Restricted Associate, after which in 2018 as a Enterprise Associate. At this time, he takes a number one position on the funding group in increasing the portfolio’s deep tech place with holdings in robotics, drones, synthetic intelligence, and industrial automation applied sciences.

Oliver additionally works with ffVC’s investor relations in forging strategic relationships for our restricted companions and company enterprise teams. As well as, he serves on the boards of Civ Robotics, Cambrian Intelligence, AppBind, Storyfit, and Cardflight.



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