Fort works to protect humans from industrial robots – TechCrunch

Industrial robots are huge, imposing things. They are both designed to work alongside humans, while posing a potential bodily risk to our soft, meaty exterior. It is precisely for this reason that the dynamic world of human-robot interaction has sprung up around the industry. While human workers are still an integral part of the robotic workplace, how can we continue to collaborate without risking injury?

That’s one of the questions driving Philadelphia-based robotics company Fort. The company’s core offering is software designed to make robots safer around people, while protecting them from potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities. He notes that the platform has already been adopted by a number of robotics manufacturers, including Agility, Hexagon, and Moog (the robot company, not the synth company).

Fort describes its offer as follows:

The FORT platform merges functional security and cybersecurity principles to enable highly reliable communication to, from, and between machines on any network. Messages sent with FORT technology are timely, accurate and secure. This additional layer of trust enables intelligent machines to perform automated tasks with less risk to people and their environment.

Today, the company is announcing a $25 million Series B, led by – you guessed it – Tiger Global. The round brings Fort’s total raise to $41.5 million, including the $13 million it raised in March 2021, Courtesy of Prime Movers Lab, Quiet Capital, Lemnos Labs, Creative Ventures , Ahoy Capital, Compound, FundersClub and Mark Cuban. Despite the broader trends in venture capital, it remains a fruitful time to be a robotics company looking for money.

People are still spending a ton on robots amid an ongoing labor shortage, so it’s obvious that software security layers are a priority for many.

“Intelligent machines are transforming the world, but with them come unprecedented security risks,” Founder/CEO Samuel Reeves said in a statement. “There is a massive need for these machines to communicate reliably, and this is something that has not yet been addressed in the industry. This investment will allow us to evolve to meet the demands of the next generation of intelligent machines. »

The company says the additional funds will go towards further rolling out its security systems.

Mavis R. Bernier