Bossa Nova literally means “new trend,” and Bossa Nova Robotics is capitalizing on the new trend of robots in stores as it just raised $17.5 million in a Series B round.
The news follows a recent deal with Walmart, which will deploy Bossa Nova’s shelf-scanning robots to 50 of its stores to streamline the re-stocking process. At the time, Walmart said that the robots were “50 percent more productive” than humans at scanning shelves for low inventory, and that it wants to use robots for tasks that are “repeatable, predictable and manual.”
Bossa Nova has raised $41.7 million to date, and with offices in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, it’s looking to expand its headcount by 30 percent (it currently employs 89 people) to focus on human/robot interaction and AI. Bossa Nova also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that its Pittsburgh location will also ramp up its monitoring services, to ensure its fleet of robots are working and transmitting data properly.
The robotics trend is one that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. At the recent Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia, Marc Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics said that “robotics will be bigger than the Internet.” Sure, he runs a robotics company, but his point is that the internet only lets you interact with information, robotics lets you interact with the real world.
And while retailers like Walmart and Amazon currently employee robots for basic, repetitive, manual tasks, new breakthroughs in technology will change that sooner than you might think. Just last week Embodied Intelligence raised $7 million for its platform that uses VR to let humans train robots to do more complicated tasks. Like dancing to the Bossa Nova with humans in store aisles.