Today, ABB announced that it has acquired Swiss start-up Sevensense, a leading provider of AI-enabled 3D vision navigation technology for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
Sevensense was founded in 2018 as a Swiss Technical University, ETH Zurich spin-off.
Sevensense can transform any mobile machine, from AMRs to forklifts and cleaning machines, into mobile robots with unprecedented autonomous capabilities.
Its navigation technology combines AI and 3-D vision, enabling AMRs to make intelligent decisions and differentiate between fixed and mobile objects in dynamic environments.
Once manually guided, mobile robots with Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (Visual SLAM) technology create a map that operates independently, reducing commissioning time from weeks to days and enabling the AMRs to navigate in highly complex, dynamic environments alongside people.
Maps are constantly updated and shared across the fleet, offering instant scalability without interrupting operations and greater flexibility than other navigation technologies.
Sevensense won ABB Robotics’ Innovation Challenge in 2021, which led to a partnership. This saw ABB invest in Sevensense’s Series A funding round — which raised $7.7 million — and also initiate bringing Visual SLAM AMRs to the market.
According to Gregory Hitz, CEO of Sevensense:
“This is a significant moment in our shared journey as we introduce our home-grown technology to a wider range of markets and sectors.
ABB is the ideal home for us to continue scaling our versatile platform for 3D visual autonomy, serving OEMs across the automated material handling and service robotics industries.
Together, we will redefine the limits of AI-enabled robotics.”
Marc Segura, President of ABB’s Robotics Division, shared:
“With the acquisition of Sevensense, ABB becomes the leader in next-generation AMRs, offering Visual SLAM in Autonomous Mobile Robots, together with an integrated portfolio covering robots and machine automation solutions, all managed by our value-creating software.”
Ford plans to use Visual SLAM at its US production site and Michelin in intralogistics at its factory in Spain. Other automotive manufacturers will roll out the technology in the UK, Finland and Germany.
Following pilot customer projects in the automotive and logistics industries, ABB will integrate Sevensense’s technology into the company’s AMR portfolio, offering an unprecedented combination of speed, accuracy, and payload.
The technology will continue to be sold across segments, including material handling, cleaning and other service robotics fields under the product name Sevensense.
Lead image: Sevensense. Photo: uncredited.