The company is building the Covariant Brain, a universal AI for robots that enables robots to see, reason, and act autonomously in the real world. Covariant robots, says the company, learn general abilities such as robust 3D perception, physical affordances of objects, few-shot learning, and real-time motion planning, which gives them the intelligence to learn how to manipulate new objects they’ve never seen before in environments where they’ve never operated.

The company’s solution is designed to address automating complex and unpredictable tasks that traditional automation can’t handle. After launching from stealth in January, the company revealed that its AI Robotics stations were running consistently at customer facilities in North America and Europe in the apparel, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries, and had achieved autonomy in live production, with a mean unassisted operating time greater than one hour.

“When we founded Covariant, our goal was to make AI Robotics work autonomously in the real world,” says Pieter Abbeel, Covariant’s President, Chief Scientist and co-founder. “Having reached that milestone, we see a huge benefit in expanding our universal AI to new use cases, customer environments, and industries.”

Peter Chen, Covariant CEO and co-founder says, “As the coronavirus crisis has exposed serious frailty in the global supply chain, we’re seeing more demand than ever for our AI Robotics solutions. Our customers are eager to invest in AI and scale it across their supply chains to meet growing demands and more stringent requirements. This latest funding round, along with our recent partnerships, will allow us to scale quickly across multiple industries.”

The latest round funding, which brings the company’s total funding to $67 million, was led by Index Ventures, along with AI-focused Radical Ventures and participation from existing investor Amplify Partners and others.


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