Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation partner for Imperial College London, announces that SLAMcore, a UK company developing spatial AI algorithms for robots and drones, has raised $5m in funding led by global technology investor, Amadeus Capital Partners. Existing investors SPARX and Toyota AI Ventures joined the round alongside newcomers, MMC Ventures and Octopus Ventures. SLAMcore was founded at Imperial College London and Imperial Innovations holds a small stake in the business.
“The robotics revolution may seem just around the corner, but there is still a big gap between the videos we see on the internet and real-world robots,” said CEO, Owen Nicholson. “Here at SLAMcore, we are helping robot and drone creators to bridge the gap between demos and commercially viable systems.”
To be truly useful, robots and drones require spatial intelligence, including the ability to accurately calculate their position, understand unfamiliar surroundings, and navigate with consistent reliability. The fundamental algorithms that achieve this spatial awareness are often referred to as Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). SLAMcore offers spatial AI solutions designed to easily integrate into existing platforms, allowing robotics companies to concentrate on delivering value to the end customer.
“It is a really exciting time for robotics,” said SLAMcore co-founder Dr Stefan Leutenegger. “We are seeing a convergence of geometric computer vision algorithms, availability of high-performance computational hardware, and Deep Learning. We are embracing this new world and will move quickly towards offering solutions for robots requiring an advanced level of understanding of their environment”
Amelia Armour, Principal, Amadeus Capital Partners, said, “BIS Research estimates the global SLAM technology market to be worth over $8 billion by 2027. This funding round will enable SLAMcore to take its spatial AI solution to that growing market and we expect demand for its affordable and flexible system to be high. Having backed SLAMcore at the start, we’re excited to be investing again at this critical stage for the company.”
“Our initial product will calculate an accurate and reliable position without the need for GPS or any other external infrastructure, but this is just the start,” said Owen Nicholson. “With this funding, we will also develop detailed mapping solutions capable of creating geometrically-accurate reconstructions of the robot’s surroundings in real-time and understanding the objects within, utilising the latest development in Machine Learning.”