A pioneer in vision-based location and mapping for robots has raised £12.8 million in Series A capital.

SLAMcore, based in London, combines AI with consumer-grade cameras, sensors and processors to solve the complex challenges of mapping and navigating for a wide range of autonomous machines and devices.

The funding round was led by ROBO Global Ventures and Presidio Ventures who invested alongside Amadeus Capital Partners, Global Brain, IP Group, MMC and Octopus. Strategic investors Samsung Ventures, Toyota Ventures and Yamato Holdings also joined the round. 

“The robotics market is exploding,” said Lisa Chai, a partner at ROBO Global Ventures. “Vision-based spatial intelligence is a key enabler that will turbo-charge this industry. 

“We are excited to support the SLAMcore team and their rapid growth with capital and access to the ROBO Global network and expertise.”

SLAMcore uses deep learning to help robots, consumer products and drones identify physical space, objects and people around them in order to autonomously navigate the real world in a safer and more efficient way. 

Its algorithms allow robots from domestic vacuum cleaners to precision industrial autonomous vehicles to precisely map the physical environment around them and locate themselves accurately within those maps through what is known as simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM). 

The technology is also used by producers of VR and AR headsets that require mapping and location to accurately align virtual and physical worlds.

SLAMcore’s technology has already been used by major technology companies such as Meta, and with the market for autonomous and spatially aware machines predicted to exceed $100 billion by 2030, the opportunities for the business’s software seem immense. 

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SLAMcore wants to democratise robotic technology by making it cost-achievable to larger swathes of designers. It says its algorithms allow any designer to use a simple hardware set-up of two low-cost cameras and an inertial measurement unit to deliver SLAM functionality ‘out-of-the-box’. 

“For far too long, robots have not been able to navigate physical spaces with the level of accuracy and efficiency that we know is possible,” said founder and CEO Owen Nicholson. 

“As they become more available to companies and consumers alike in years to come, SLAMcore is determined to ensure that as many designers as possible have access to the algorithms needed to optimise their products. 

“We provide accurate, robust and commercially viable SLAM using affordable cameras and components that will benefit wide swathes of businesses and improve the user experience of consumer products.

“Our technology has already been proven in commercial pilots and proofs of concept with customers as diverse as Meta, which uses SLAMcore in its cutting-edge Bombyx robot, to Synaos which uses it to retrofit autonomous location and mapping capabilities to intralogistics vehicles. 

“This funding will allow us to rapidly scale to meet the demand from consumer electronics, logistics, industrial and manufacturing sector clients all keen to deploy low-cost, high accuracy SLAM at commercial scale.”