CloudMinds Technology Inc. today said it has raised more than 1 billion yuan ($153 million U.S.) in its Series B+ round. The Shanghai-based service robotics provider said it will continue developing humanoid models for home use.
Bill Huang, founder and general manager of the China Mobile Research Institute, founded CloudMinds in 2015. The company has more than 1,800 patents and claimed that it is developing an “open end-to-end cloud robot system.”
CloudMinds provides servicerobots that use cloud computing for retail, education, healthcare, and hospitality. Its offerings include the wheeled humanoid XR-1 Service Robot, the Cloud Patrol security robot, and Cloud Pepper, a humanoid made by SoftBank Robotics. It has offered them through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model.
In addition, the company makes networking equipment, cloud-based vending machines, smart joint actuators, and temperature measurement systems that can be mounted on stationary or mobile devices to detect symptoms of illness. CloudMinds said it has served more than 80 hospitals and clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although many industry analysts acknolwedge that humanoid robots with general artificial intelligence are a ways off, the ability to connect to the cloud is widely viewed as a way to add capabilities to devices with limited on-board computing capacity.
CloudMinds caught in U.S.-China trade conflict
Last year, the Bureau of Industry and Security, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, added CloudMinds to the list of restricted entities because of concerns about technology transfer and facial-recognition privacy during the ongoing trade conflict with China. It was preparing for a $500 million initial public offering (IPO).
Shanghai Urban Construction Investment and Guosheng Group led CloudMinds' latest funding round. In 2019, the company received $300 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund.
The XR-1 humanoid service robot from CloudMinds and Innfos is intended to be a step toward a general-purpose robot.
About the Author
Eugene DemaitreEugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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CloudMinds is developing cloud-connected, humanoid service robots.