More and more investors are focusing on robotics startups: here are the trends, the rising stars and TOD System's proposal for the market

In Europe, second Statesman, at the end of 2023 revenue in the robotics market will reach i 9.89 billion dollars.

You read that right.

Despite market downturns, the robotics sector is advancing by leaps and bounds in Europe with investments, especially in European startups, which will keep pace with the record set in 2021.

This is always suggested by the numbers prepared by Statista, according to which revenues are expected to show a annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2028) of 3,42%, with a market volume of $11.70 billion by 2028.

After all, with the looming threat of a recession, and with energy costs at record highs, the industrial sector has more than ever need for automation.

In fact, automation is the only way to get around the big obstacles that stand in the way of companies of all sizes: reduction of operating costs And shortage of highly skilled workers.

Furthermore, the "old" traditional robotics solutions no longer meet many of the needs of companies and, above all, they are not perfectly suited to the characteristics of many warehouses, laboratories or factories, preventing their implementation due to structural and/or environmental limitations .

This is also why the robotics market, especially that linked to autonomous mobile robots, is in great turmoil.

The investors, in all of this, they certainly did not stand by and have collected this growing demand, investing money in robotics startups across Europe.

Investments in European startups and market prospects

The robotics market in Europe is experiencing significant growth, while the big investment funds they are focusing more and more on this promising industry. 

In the last four years, in fact, the robotics sector on the European continent has experienced a rapid expansion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% between January and September. 

In contrast, the United States and China are at a stalemate, with a modest increase in 1% in the States and an increase of just 3% in China.

To understand the trend of investments in European companies in the robotics sector, it is enough to think that these, in 2021, reached the figure of 1.45 billion dollars. With an equally promising 2022.

In fact, last year there was an excellent number of installations, with almost 72,000 robotic units equal to 85% of the total of those sold in Europe and with an increase of 6% compared to the previous year. 

What makes this growth even more interesting is the change in attitude on the part of investors: Robotics, once considered a niche sector understood only by a few venture capital investors, is now attracting the attention of more general investors.

Goldman Sachs, for example, recently led one of the largest investment rounds in the robotics sector in Europe, with a Series D from 335 million dollars for the Exotec company.

In the current European robotics landscape, some startups are also standing out for their ability to raise significant funding, even in countries that are not traditionally at the center of investments in the sector. 

The example of the French Exotec is one of these, but the British company should also be mentioned CMR Surgical, which he got 600 million dollars in 2021. 

In Italy, however, stands out MMI, which he collected 75 million dollars in the same year. And again, in Swiss, the society Distalmotion reached i 90 million dollars in 2022. 

There Germany, with a solid tradition in the robotics sector, finally boasts leaders such as Agile Robots, specialized in the development of intelligent robotic systems capable of interacting with the surrounding environment, and Wandelbots, which makes robot training software.

In light of these trends, it is expected that demand for robotics will continue to grow, driven by the need to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the industrial sector, but also by the increasingly critical shortage of qualified personnel.

In the future, therefore, it is expected that robots will be integrated into entire production chains and that startups focused exclusively on software will create solutions that can be applied to a wide range of industries instead of focusing on a single vertical.

The Italian case: strengths of a system on the rise 

The Italian robotics industry has established itself as leader on the European scene thanks to technological innovation and the ability to adapt to customer needs. 

Italy, according to data from the latest report by HowToRobot in collaboration with UCIMA (Italian Association of Packaging Machine Manufacturers), is in fact the third country in Europe for the production of industrial robots, with a market share of 13%. 

And, above all, it is top of the list for companies providing automation and robotics solutions, also ahead of France and Germany.

The HowToRobot report, however, provides an overview of the 651 robotics and automation solution providers, spread across 819 locations in Italy, listing them as divided into: 

  • 18 distributors;
  • 461 supplements;
  • 31 robot manufacturers;
  • 141 subcomponent suppliers.

These numbers, as we have said, place Italy at the top of the European ranking: in France, in fact, the companies registered are 628, while in Germany they stand at 540.

Again according to the data released by HowToMarket, it is also highlighted that theautomation of handling and picking is the type of solution offered by the largest number of robot and automation suppliers in Italy (355 companies), followed by packaging and palletizing (265 companies) and processing and shearing (196 companies).

One of the main strengths of the industry is represented by packaging and automation machines. In fact, Italy holds the highest share of the world market of packaging machines with the 16.5% and a turnover of 8.1 billion euros in 2021.

According to the report of HowtoRobot, then, among the strengths of the Italian robot and automation industry, its large one stands out ability to quickly adapt to changes in demand

The 15 most visible European startups of 2023

An interesting insight into how large funding funds are keeping European robotics startups under close control is provided by Sifted.

Sifted is the leading media brand for the European startup community. Supported by the Financial Times, and corroborated by the presence of journalists dedicated to this world, it scours Europe to produce interesting sector analyses.

In one of his articles, the one we want to analyze, Sifted asked who they might be the next stars of the robotics tech scene to investors of Kineo Finance, Breega, NGP Capital and Picus Capital.

We would like to present the list of the 15 most prominent startups according to these investors below:

  1. Ascento Robotics (Switzerland)
    Provides robots for autonomous outdoor surveillance, through a two-wheeled robot for security and inspection of external assets, reducing intervention times and improving data acquisition;
  2. Framework Robotics (Germany)
    It provides high-quality unmanned underwater vehicles for inspection and monitoring of underwater infrastructure. Thanks to its modular and 3D printed structure, the robotic platform is versatile for different underwater applications;
  3. Olive Robotics (Germany)
    Offers re-programmable robotic hardware components for creating custom robots. Thanks to partnerships with universities and the development of four products and a kit, it simplifies integration and the creation of plug-and-play solutions;
  4. Daedalus (Germany)
    It offers a platform for ordering precision parts produced by AI robots, meeting growing demand in industries such as aerospace and medical, which face a shortage of skilled labor;
  5. Gravis Robotics (Switzerland)
    It is developing an autonomous platform for heavy industrial vehicles and machinery, with the aim of improving safety and efficiency in the construction, mining and agricultural sectors, reducing dependence on human labor;
  6. Torrmi (UK)
    It aims to become a specialized supplier of AI components, hardware and software for the robotics industry. It will offer reusable software components for robots, with automatic bug detection and performance optimization solutions;
  7. Noyes Technologies (Germany)
    Its modular product, similar to that of Ikea, gives customers of all sizes access to affordable, easy-to-maintain and highly scalable automated shelving units;
  8. Cook-e (France)
    It has created a modular food processor for professional kitchens that addresses staffing shortages in the food industry. The robot weighs, mixes, cooks and cleans automatically, offering a versatile and convenient solution;
  9. Grayscale (UK)
    It uses artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing to create robots and self-driving software that react quickly to pedestrians, cyclists, and buildings;
  10. Keybotic (Spain)
    Its four-legged robots perform industrial inspections in hazardous sites and provide 3D mapping without human intervention, improving worker safety and reducing environmental impact;
  11. Robeauté (France)
    It is a medtech startup that is creating a 1.8mm micro-robot to diagnose and manage brain diseases non-invasively. The robot moves around the brain collecting precise data for real-time therapies, including Parkinson's treatment;
  12. Robco (Germany)
    It provides modular, low-cost industrial robotic arm solutions for SMEs, enabling the automation of repetitive manual tasks;
  13. Fruitcore robotics (Germany)
    It also provides flexible robotic arm solutions for SMEs, but focuses on more cost-effective and low-maintenance solutions. 
  14. Aerones — (Lithuania)
    It offers a maintenance and repair service for wind turbines with robots, ensuring predictive maintenance even in windy conditions;
  15. Dexory (UK)
    It offers autonomous robots for inventory management in warehouses, solving item quantification and tracking problems with real-time data.

The robotic revolution of TOD System

From the research and development department of TOD System the project is born todrobot

The result of this work is the mobile collaborative robot TR1, an autonomous and “ready to use” robot for pallet picking which represents a true revolution in the sector. 

Consisting of a collaborative arm, an autonomous shuttle AMR and a named frame TOD CASE, offers a new concept of gripper with integrated gripper and 3D camera (TOD GRIPPER). 

The artificial intelligence software (AI) implemented on TOD EDGE allows the TR1 to autonomously carry out picking and place, move in complex environments in collaboration with the human operator and guarantee speed in the execution of operations.

The crescent shortage of staff in warehouses logistics, after all, pushes companies towards automation, but the high costs of structural restructuring and the lack of resources prevent many companies from adopting automated solutions. 

The TR1 offers a economical and versatile solution, adaptable to different sizes of automated companies and shops.

One of the key features of the TR1, in fact, is its compactness, which allows for integration without the need for structural modifications in the warehouse layout. 

Thanks to AI, which optimizes routes and picking operations, our solution reduces energy consumption, promoting operational efficiency and energy savings. 

TR1 is also able to adapt to spatial situations, interactions and anomalies in the shape of packages without requiring constant human supervision. 

In addition to picking from pallets, however, the TR1 can extend its scope of application creating a new 24-hour warehouse concept, where customers can collect the ordered goods at any time. 

The software processes the order, the TR1 picks up the package from the pallet and delivers it to the customer at a pick-up point.

The introduction of TR1 in the working context frees human operators from repetitive tasks, allowing them to dedicate themselves to higher-level tasks and increasing specialized human capital.

All in full compliance with the new paradigm of man-machine collaboration dictated byIndustry 5.0

Furthermore, the networked management software and real-time tracking of information from the TR1 enable accurate control of the work process and continuous improvement thanks to machine learning.

The TR1 technology has already attracted the attention of the Italian Trade Agency and Ice, leading to the robot being exhibited at various international fairs, where it has aroused interest from important companies such as Tetrapak, long S And Farmaè

Did you get curious too? Visit the website dedicated to todrobot TR1, and contact us without hesitation to discover the entire world of solutions created by TOD System.

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Technical catalog on integrated robotic solutions for warehouse logistics.