After conducting pilot customer projects in the automotive and logistics sectors, ABB intends to integrate Sevensense's technology into its autonomous mobile robots portfolio with an aim to provide an unparalleled blend of speed, accuracy, and payload capabilities
ABB has acquired Sevensense, a Switzerland-based start-up engaged in providing 3D vision navigation technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which is used in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sevensense was formed in 2018 following a spin-off from ETH Zurich, a Swiss technical university.
The company’s navigation technology integrates AI and 3D vision to empower autonomous mobile robots to make informed decisions by distinguishing between stationary and moving objects in dynamic surroundings.
Following manual guidance, mobile robots equipped with Visual Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (Visual SLAM) technology generate a map, facilitating independent operation. This is said to significantly reduce commissioning time from weeks to days and enables the robots to navigate efficiently in intricate, dynamic environments alongside human presence.
The maps undergo continuous updates and are shared within the fleet, providing immediate scalability without disrupting operations. This results in greater flexibility when compared to alternative navigation technologies, said ABB.
Sevensense CEO Gregory Hitz said: “This is a significant moment in our shared journey, as we introduce our home-grown technology to a wider range of markets and sectors.
“ABB is the ideal home for us to continue scaling our versatile platform for 3D visual autonomy, serving OEMs across the automated material handling and service robotics industries. Together, we will redefine the limits of AI-enabled robotics.”
The acquisition by ABB builds on its earlier minority investment via ABB Technology Ventures in Sevensense when it became part of the company’s innovation ecosystem in 2021. During the same year, ABB also acquired ASTI Mobile Robotics.
After conducting pilot customer projects in the automotive and logistics sectors, ABB plans to integrate Sevensense’s technology into its autonomous mobile robots portfolio. This integration aims to provide an unparalleled blend of speed, accuracy, and payload capabilities, said ABB.
ABB robotics division president Marc Segura said: “Intelligent AMRs autonomously navigate to production cells, tracking stock inventory as they go and sharing this information with other robots, while collaborating safely side-by-side with humans.
“With the acquisition of Sevensense, ABB becomes the leader in next-generation AMRs, offering Visual SLAM in Autonomous Mobile Robots, together with an integrated portfolio covering robots and machine automation solutions, all managed by our value-creating software.”