Clearpath Robotics Funding to Push Driverless Dump Trucks

By Gerrit De Vynck | April 20, 2015

Canadian startup Clearpath Robotics Ltd. raised its first round of institutional funding as it develops technology to automate everything from lawnmowers to dump trucks.

Clearpath, whose customers include Deere & Co., Honda Motor Co. Ltd., and Google Inc., raised C$14 million ($11 million) from RRE Ventures and iNovia Capital, the Waterloo, Ontario- based company said in a statement.

photo credit: CPSC
photo credit: CPSC

“If it’s got four wheels we want to automate it,” said Clearpath Chief Executive Officer Matt Rendall, 31, who founded the company in 2009 while he was a student at the University of Waterloo. “It can be something as small as a vacuum cleaner or something as large as the biggest mining equipment.”

Clearpath sells off-road robots to researchers, technology companies and the U.S. military who use them to do jobs that are too dangerous or tedious for humans, like identifying land mines or taking water samples.

Robots will do the work of 40 to 75 million humans by 2025, McKinsey & Co. Inc. estimates. Google Inc., Amazon Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have all invested in artificial intelligence. While Google is working on driverless cars, Clearpath sees its technology becoming the brains behind industrial and agricultural vehicles.

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