Press release : April 7, 2017
SoftBank Innovation Program (SIP) to fund and facilitate prototyping and market testing for Rapyuta Robotics’ new cloud-based drone service
Rapyuta Robotics Co. Ltd. (“Rapyuta Robotics”) announced it was selected for the second round of the SoftBank Innovation Program, a program designed by SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”), a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO: 9984), to facilitate the introduction of promising new technologies into the commercial marketplace. SoftBank will provide funding and market intelligence to support the prototyping, development and market testing of Rapyuta Robotics’ cloud robotics platform.
The announcement comes just six months after Rapyuta Robotics received USD $10M in Series A funding from SBI Investments Co. Ltd. in the fall of 2016.
“We have the in-house technical expertise and resources we need to make cloud robotics a reality,” says Rapyuta Robotics CEO Gajan Mohanarajah. “With support from SoftBank for product prototyping, and access to their customer channels for market testing, we will be able to demonstrate the business value of this cutting-edge new technology. We are excited to show the world how we can leverage the cloud to make robotics dramatically more accessible to business markets.”
Rapyuta Robotics’ platform could make it significantly easier for businesses to deploy robot and drone solutions without needing in-house robotics expertise. By integrating robot hardware, software, sensor data, and applications in the cloud -- where powerful data centers manage the heavy computation -- Rapyuta’s platform lets end-users focus on their business processes instead of on managing robot hardware or software infrastructure.
“While improvements in technology are helping to make robotics more accessible to markets, the ability to integrate all the required hardware, security and software expertise remains a barrier for most companies,” says Mohanarajah. “Rapyuta Robotics wants to make robotic systems user-friendly so customers can focus on the big picture. We are excited to work with SoftBank to commercialize this service.”
Rapyuta Robotics and SoftBank will jointly develop and market test Rapyuta’s new drone service with customers in application areas such as security, surveying, inventory management, and infrastructure inspection. Rapyuta Robotics aims to have its first robotic service deployments ready for market testing with select customers later this year.
About the SoftBank Innovation Program
The SoftBank Innovation Program’s aim is to create new value by combining the innovative solutions and technologies of other companies with SoftBank’s own resources. SoftBank selects applications that it deems to be innovative and superior, and then provides funding for prototype development, environments for test marketing and other forms of assistance. Based on the test marketing results, SoftBank considers product or service commercialization.
More information on the SoftBank Innovation Program:
About Rapyuta Robotics Co., Ltd.
Rapyuta Robotics Co., Ltd. is a global technology startup that builds cloud robotics solutions. Spun out of the Swiss Federal Institute (ETH Zurich) in 2014, the company now has 33 employees, and offices in Japan, Switzerland, and India.
In 2015, Rapyuta Robotics received almost USD $3M in seed funding led by Cyberdyne Inc., and in the fall of 2016 received another USD $10M in Series A funding from the Japanese SBI Investments Co. Ltd.
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