German robotics startup Wandelbots, which has developed a robotics training device that could transform industrial practices, closed a $30 million Series B round led by 83North and joined by M12 and Next47. Other investors include Paua Ventures, EQT Ventures, Atlantic Labs, Haniel and Alexander Rinke.
The Dresden-based company has developed TracePen, supposedly the world’s first ‘no code’ handheld device that lets humans teach robots how to perform industrial tasks. Wandelbots says TracePen’s teaching method is up to 70 times faster and a fraction of the cost compared to traditional programming methods. The public launch of TracePen will take place in a series of webinars from June 17-19.
“The complexity, time and cost of (re)programming robots to adapt to changing market requirements has, until now, been hugely prohibitive. The advent of end-user programming has turned the market on its head,” explains Christian Piechnick, founder and CEO of Wandelbots.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the startup has noted a surge in demand from international buyers, who have seen their industrial supply chains collapse and now want to bring home key processes previously done overseas. “As we enter a new era of robotics and automation, Wandelbots is revolutionizing this industry and is playing a leading role in reshaping manufacturing as we know it,” says Gil Goren, who led the investment by 83North.
Founded in 2017, the company employs over 80 people across Europe and Asia. The funding will fuel plans for global expansion and also accelerate time-to-market for TracePen. Piechnick also shared a longer term vision for Wandelbots: “Looking into the future, I’m absolutely certain that within the next 15 years robots will be established in every household in the same way smartphones were established within the last decade. We are paving this way by enabling everyone out there to show a robot what to do.”