Trifo, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) home robot company, today announced it has received $11 million in funding to build the next generation of smart home robots. Focusing on indoor home environments, Trifo has developed an end-to-end integrated hardware/software system with sensing, perception, and decision capabilities designed to perceive physics, geometry and home environment semantics. This enables robots to communicate with humans more naturally and continuously learn new skills.
“The overall consumer robotics industry is on the verge of a major transformation that leverages the evolution of the smartphone market, cloud-based services, and the smart home,” said Philip Solis, Research Director at ABI Research. “The industry is in the midst of a long-anticipated leap from standalone robots to robots that are part of an expanded and more integrated smart home ecosystem.”
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) predicts the household personal service robots market will reach $11 billion by 2022. Within the household, for example, chores alone cost an estimated $11 trillion a year in consumer time today, a figure expected to reach nearly $23 trillion in 2025 according to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).
“Robot vacuum cleaners are currently the only home robots on the market, and unfortunately they are not as smart as people think,” said CEO and founder of Trifo, Zhe Zhang. “A true home robot has to have an advanced level of perception and be capable of interacting with occupants. Products in the market today are designed for a single function and are not intelligent enough to learn to perform other complex tasks for chore automation, such as learning your home’s indoor landscape or identifying the best time to perform tasks autonomously. Just as mobile phones act as the primary connection between people, home robots should be the connector between machines, homes, and its occupants, whether they are at home or not.”
With its first product, Trifo addresses the lack of fully integrated robotic systems by building a smart consumer robot vacuum with increased functionality at a far lower cost than other well-known home vacuum products. And, Trifo is building consumer products that do much more than clean floors. Using cameras and state-of-the-art, proprietary SLAM algorithms, 3D geometry and 3D semantics, Trifo’s products will perform complex functions such as:
· Position tracking and visual mapping
· Obstacle avoidance
· Environmental perception (temperature, humidity, etc.)
· Home surveillance and safety
Trifo Names New Chief Operating Officer
“Trifo has created first-to-market integrated hardware and software that enables dramatic performance improvements in home robotics,” said Ge. “I look forward to leveraging my experience and expertise to move the company forward rapidly to gain revenue and share in the fast-growing home robotics market.”
Trifo has been granted approximately 40 U.S. and Chinese patents, and has filed for more than 70 additional patents globally in U.S., Europe, and China. Trifo’s proprietary algorithms have been published at top robotics conferences such as ICRA and IROS. Ironsides, the stereo visual inertial computing module, is widely used by more than 300 universities, companies, and developers.
Trifo has more than 40 employees in Santa Clara, Calif., Shenzhen, and Beijing. The company is backed by leading investors including Walden International, Matrix Partners, Samsung Ventures, and Tsinghua AI Fund.