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Beijing TimeRiver Technology
Shihe Technology (robot + +) completed 20 million pre-A rounds of financing, led by bv Baidu venture capital, smart grid venture capital, panda capital follow-up investment, and promoted the emergence of wall climbing robot market
Robot + +, a high-altitude robot R & D company, has completed a pre-A round investment of 20 million yuan, led by bv Baidu venture capital and smart grid venture capital, followed by the old shareholder panda capital, with a post investment valuation of 120 million yuan. This round of financing is mainly used for product research and development and market promotion. The main product of robot + + is "climbing robot", which is mainly used for high-altitude operation and high-risk operation scenarios such as ship derusting, chemical spraying, thermal power detection, wind power operation and maintenance.
The wall climbing robot introduced by robot + + is characterized by modular design, quick disassembly and installation, curved surface adaptability and moderate obstacle crossing. The walking speed of the robot in the company can reach 10 m / min, the average working efficiency is twice of that of the human, and the cost is half of that of the human. If the user's activities are intensive, the cost can be recovered basically in the first half year to one year. According to the specific scenarios of different industries, such as ship, chemical industry, thermal power, wind power, etc., robot + + has successively launched its own "HML" series of aerial work robots:
1) H: heavy, with a load capacity of more than 100kg, can carry special equipment such as grinding wheel, welding gun, etc., for grinding, welding and other scenes;
2) M: medium, a medium load model, with a load capacity of about 60kg, can carry water guns, spray guns and other operating tools for rust removal, spraying and other scenes;
Figure 1: HML series aerial work robots
This kind of high-altitude wall climbing robot is mainly to solve the safety risk problem of manual operation, but the high-altitude wall climbing robot is still a blue ocean market, and the domestic and foreign cargo volume is not large. The service market volume that can be carried by high-altitude robots instead of human beings is about 60 billion yuan, including ship sidewall rust removal, chemical tank spraying, thermal power boiler detection, wind tower tube operation and maintenance, photovoltaic panel cleaning, pipeline NDT, building exterior wall cleaning and other functional services, and the corresponding functional module equipment has mature suppliers. Robot + + can integrate other functional modules based on self-developed machine ontology to provide customers with a complete solution.
In the early stage of entering the industry, robot + + needs to cooperate with industry customers to develop products. In this process, robot + + will carry out technical verification and hope to hatch some general products in the process of project implementation. It is reported that robot + + has been successively placed and delivered in railway, thermal power, wind power, chemical industry and other industries. In addition, an order of tens of millions of yuan for ship derusting robot is expected to reach cooperation intention. The main customers of robot + + include China Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, Sinopec, China Aluminum Group, state power investment, state railway administration and other domestic industry leading enterprises.
In the traditional sense, according to the working space, mobile robots include three categories: sea, land and air, which correspond to water mobile robots (unmanned boats), ground mobile robots (unmanned vehicles) and air mobile robots (unmanned aerial vehicles). However, Xu Huamin believes that there is a fourth kind of working space for mobile robots, namely "wall space". No matter underwater, on the ground, or at high altitude, there are always a lot of demands for wall space operations, such as the removal of underwater oysters, pipeline inspection and flaw detection, operation and maintenance of wind tower, etc. These "wall space" is where the high-altitude climbing robot can be used. Wall climbing robot represents the commanding point of mobile robot technology research and development. In the future, robot + + can cut into other robot product markets from high-altitude wall climbing robot.
Figure 2: field test of HML series robots
For a long time, there are many teams at home and abroad engaged in the research of wall climbing robot, but they are mainly concentrated in Colleges and universities and research institutes, and few of them are really industrialized. Compared with other wall climbing robot manufacturers in China, the advantage of robot + + is focus. For three consecutive years, robot + + has invested tens of R & D engineers' energy and accumulated tens of millions of yuan of R & D cost in this seemingly inconspicuous market segment, in exchange for today's "HML" series products and benchmarking application cases of related industries. Similar products abroad mainly include the high-altitude wall climbing robot developed by Inuktun and ICM (International climbing machine), which is also suitable for curved surface, and can carry external detection and operation equipment. However, the product load capacity of these two companies is relatively small and they are mainly sold overseas. Robot + + focuses on the domestic market and has the ability to develop wall climbing robots with large load. This round of 20 million yuan pre-A financing will further strengthen the product R & D ability and market promotion of robot + +. Today, no matter from the perspective of team strength, technical ability, intellectual property rights, or from the perspective of product line completeness, sales order amount, existing customer volume, etc., robot + + has great advantages in the aerial work robot market segment.
Liu Wei, CEO of BV Baidu venture capital, the leading investor in this round, said: with the development of AI technology, the environmental perception ability, decision-making ability and task ability of intelligent robots will be improved rapidly, the cost will be reduced rapidly, and they will be used in more scenarios. High altitude climbing is a very bad work scene for human beings. I believe there will be a platform level intelligent robot company, which will bring us cleaner, safer and more reliable industrial environment and urban space.
Nie Sicong, manager of smart grid venture capital, said: there is a huge market space for aerial work, and the whole market is still a blue ocean market. Robot + + has rich professional technical reserves related to aerial work robots and successful experience in multiple software and hardware R & D projects, which helps to ensure the timely update of technology and rapid iteration of products, make good products, and constantly advance to the vision of "no dangerous work in the world".
Li Xinyi, partner of panda capital, said: since the angel round investment in robot + +, the R & D capability and commercialization potential of robot + + have further emerged. This additional investment is mainly due to Panda capital's continuous optimistic role in the transformation of robot + + in the aerial work robot market segment, and it is expected that robot + + will make more breakthroughs in this field.
The founding team members of robot + + are from Tsinghua, Beihang and Renmin people's Congress. They have profound technology research and development capabilities and strong market development capabilities. Xu Huamin, founder and CEO, Ph.D. and postdoctoral, Department of machinery, Tsinghua University. In 2015, Xu Huamin, a doctoral student, launched the "Mini PC all in one" project and got seed investment. Since then, the "Mini PC all in one" project has been acquired by a Beijing company. Xu Huamin led the team to harvest the first barrel of gold for entrepreneurship, and transformed into a special robot business. Wang Zhichao, partner and CTO, Ph.D. of Beihang automation department, former research and development director of Ti gold medal third-party hezhongda electronics, technical director of airy Electronics Beijing, led 40 person technical team, with 10 years of research and development experience in automation, Internet of things, machine vision and other fields. Jiang Yu, partner and coo, once served as sales director of Taiji Computer rail transit business department, marketing director of major project Department of Tongfang Co., Ltd., and managed sales team of more than 100 people.