Robots are set to disrupt all industries, with driverless cars, robotic assembly-line workers, and robot-caretakers for the elderly already among us.
The robotics market is expected to grow from $44.02 billion in 2018 to $69.14 billion by 2023, according to MarketsandMarkets, and Israeli startups are planning to bite into that pie.
Already, four percent of Israeli technological development belongs to the robotics industry, according to a report by Start-Up Nation Central, and that number is expected to grow.
Here are five helpful robots developed by Israeli startups:
In Tel Aviv, new high-rise buildings are sprouting at the pace of mushrooms after rain. But having to clean skyscrapers’ windows on a suspended platform can be a hazardous task.
Skyline Robotics developed an automated cleaning system, called OZMO, that uses computer vision and machine learning to clean windows at any height.
According the company, while it would take three cleaners on a 40-story building approximately 480 hours to finish cleaning the windows, OZMO can do it in just one week.
Founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Yaron Schwarcz and CTO Avi Abadi, Skyline Robotics raised a $3 million seed round in October 2018. US-Israel investment fund Gefen Capital led the round, alongside ICONYC, the Israel Innovation Authority, Vancouver’s Bosa Properties, and Israeli Sufrin Group.
For their research, both co-founders got certified to operate at heights and worked as window cleaners for a few of weeks before founding the company.
“Window cleaning is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the verticals we eventually plan to influence. We plan to replace all tasks that are dangerous, dirty and dull,” Schwarcz said in a statement.
Developed by Intuition Robotics, the intelligent and friendly robot ElliQ helps the elderly to stay engaged, independent and connected to family and friends. The social robot mimics human movements and responds to voice, gaze, and touch. ElliQ offers tips and advice, responds to questions, engages throughout the day, makes appointments and reminds those in its care about medications.
Useful for those who cannot easily operate a smartphone, ElliQ aims to strengthen the connection between the elderly and their families, by reading out messages, displaying photos, and answering video calls.
This January, the company announced that ElliQ, which was designed by famed industrial designer Yves Behar, is finally available for limited pre-order. So far, the startup has raised $22 million from investors including Samsung NEXT, SPARX Group and Glory Ventures, who are joining Toyota AI Ventures, iRobot, and Bloomberg Beta.
Co-founder and CEO Dor Skuler says that ElliQ does not aim to replace human interaction, but is designed to keep elderly adults connected and engaged with the outside world.
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Temi is a 3-foot-tall personal robot with a 10-inch touchscreen for a head, which can answer questions, order groceries, play music and videos, control your smart home and follow you anywhere around your house.
At $1499, Temi was created by CEO Yossi Wolf after he went to visit his grandmother and noticed how shaky her hands were and how difficult it was for her to hold a cup of tea, let alone operate her smartphone.
Wolf comes from the military world, but after years making all-terrain robots to track explosives as part of Roboteam, Temi’s parent company, Wolf decided to make a friendly consumer robot.
Joined by the lead investor and former CTO of Alibaba – John Wu – who helped raise a $60 million capital round for Temi, as well as a second round of $21 million earlier this year, Wolf made his vision come true.
“Temi incorporates unparalleled technology at a reachable price, making it the ultimate way for people to communicate … It will dramatically transform the way we conduct business and connect with loved ones from afar,” Wolf says.
In January, the company announced its newest collaboration with tech and retail giant Amazon, which Wolf called “a major step up for Temi.” As part of the partnership, Temi Global will integrate Amazon’s Alexa and Echo Show functions into the machine, which it hails as the world’s first intelligent, mobile, personal AI-powered robot.
CommonSense Robotics partners with grocery retailers to fulfill and deliver online orders within one hour. To make this happen, the company builds networks of automated Micro- Fulfillment Centers in dense urban areas that combine the speed of local delivery with the efficiencies and scale of robotic fulfillment.
The combination of speed and AI efficiency allows hundreds of robots to move around fulfillment centers. These centers are owned and operated by CommonSense Robotics, which plans to charge retailers on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The centers will be staffed by a handful of employees and a few hundred robots and could house inventory for one or multiple grocery stores.
Founded in 2015, the company has raised $26 million from VCs including Innovation Endeavors, Aleph, and Playground.
Industrial automation and robotics are taking over many manual tasks in manufacturing. However, in most production lines visual quality inspection is still done manually due to product complexity, inspection requirements, and high cost of customized solutions.
Located in Petah Tikva, KITOV Systems, designed a visual inspection robot for industrial manufacturing. According to the company, the industry currently spends $15 billion a year on visual quality control. Kitov Systems combines 3D virtual machine vision (advanced robotics) big data analytics, AI and deep learning to detect the most detailed defects in manufacturing and lower the cost of quality control.
The startup, which was founded by CTO Dr. Yossi Rubner and VP of R&D Nir Avrahami, raised $10 million last year from RSBG through HAHN Group, and with the participation of Global IOT Technology Venture that (GiTV).