FORT Robotics, a safety and security platform for smart machines, announced on Thursday it has closed a $13 million Series A funding round led by Prime Movers Lab. Other investors included Prologis Ventures, Ahoy Capital, FundersClub, Compound, Lemnos VC, Quiet Capital, Creative Ventures and NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
All industries are finding ways to include automation and robotic systems into their workflows to increase productivity. Without proper safety measures around these innovations, companies are at risk of cybersecurity attacks and employee injuries. FORT’s technology adds a level of safety and security to smart machine systems, giving employees an option to intervene in times of risk.
“Robotics and automation are a way for industries such as manufacturing to remain competitive in ‘America 2.0,’ but these advances in technology don’t come without risks,” said Cuban in the release.. “I’m excited to partner with FORT because protecting the people who work with and around robots will be crucial as we enter this new era of automation.”
In 2020, FORT served over 100 clients, including Fortune 1000 companies in industries such as warehousing, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining, turf care, last-mile delivery and transportation.
One of FORT’s customers, a leading manufacturer, runs a number of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) within a gated area of its warehouse. The customer’s employees would manually stop the AMRs when entering the facility, which could only be done one at a time. FORT was able to install its Vehicle Safety Controller (VSC) that could send a wireless signal to stop every robot at once. This solution enhanced safety and increased productivity.
“FORT is creating systems that will accelerate the rise of autonomous vehicles and robotics, making work safer and more productive,” said Suzanne Fletcher, general partner at Prime Movers Lab. “We’re proud to partner with this forward-looking company that recognizes that safe collaboration between humans and robots is synonymous with the workforce of tomorrow.”
With its new investment, FORT will double its workforce and continue to service customers, while expanding its product offerings.
“We’re excited to partner with our new investors to help position FORT at the forefront of this rapidly evolving space,” said founder and CEO Samuel Reeves. “The world is on the cusp of a new industrial revolution in mobile automation. With added investment and support, we’ll be able to rapidly scale the company to capitalize on the convergence of trend and opportunity to ensure that robotic systems are safely deployed across all industries.”