Terex Corp. this week announced that it has made an equity investment in Apptronik Inc. and that they have agreed to jointly develop robotic applications for Terex products. Apptronik is developing mobile, general-purpose robots.
“Multiple trends are converging to drive adoption of human-centered robots in everyday applications, and Apptronik is well-positioned to capitalize on this emerging trend,” stated John L. Garrison, Jr., chairman and CEO of Terex.
“Robotic solutions like those that Apptronik and Terex will develop together will help the industries we serve to address the challenges they're facing in a practical, cost-effective, and, most importantly, safe manner,” he said. “This collaboration will enable Terex and Apptronik to bring these emerging technologies to the market faster than either company could do alone.”
Terex is a global manufacturer of materials-processing machinery and aerial work platforms. The Westport, Conn.-based company designs, builds, and supports products used in construction, maintenance, manufacturing, energy, recycling, minerals, and materials management applications.
In addition, Terex said its products support environmental sustainability by reducing noise, emissions, and waste. It said it engages with customers through all stages of the product life cycle, from initial specification and financing to parts and service support.
Partners work on robots for unstructured environments
Robots have promised to address labor shortages and improve productivity, but until recently, they have been limited to repetitive tasks in structured environments such as factories or warehouses, noted Apptronik. It said robots have not yet been optimized for more complex tasks in unstructured environments.
Apptronik said the equity investment and co-development agreement will lead to robots that can conduct more complex tasks outdoors.
“Industries outside of manufacturing and logistics will be able to use versatile robots that enable operator safety and productivity, allowing operators and business owners to prioritize innovation and deliver quality to their customers,” said the company.
“We are at an inflection point in the robotics industry where, in just a few years, we expect to see general-purpose robots being adopted at scale across numerous industries,” said Jeff Cardenas, co-founder and CEO of Apptronik. “We are excited to be working with Terex Corp., as we blaze the trail for the robotics revolution that we anticipate will transform the way we live and work.”
Apptronik marks accomplishments
Founded in 2016 as a spinout of the Human Centered Robotics Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, Apptronik said its mission is to use innovative technology for the betterment of society. The company said its goal is “to introduce the next generation of robots that will change the way people live and work, while tackling some of our world's largest challenges.”
Apptronik said its co-founders have worked on some of the most advanced human-centered systems in the world, including the NASA Valkyrie Robot for the DARPA Robotics Challenge.
Other projects include Astra, an upper-body humanoid robot that has “state-of-the-art actuation packed into a small form, enabling it to be placed on any mobility platform,” said Apptronik. It has also developed Apollo, a NASA-backed versatile humanoid designed to scale and apply to numerous applications.
Apptronik said its agreement with Terex is its latest achievement after a busy 2022. The brand raised nearly $15 million in its seed round and said it expects to make a humanoid robot available for commercial orders later this year. It said it has also built robots for leading U.S. automotive OEMs, major transportation and logistics companies, and government agencies.