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Automation Startup Companies to Watch

Four industrial automation startup companies—InOrbit, Turntide, Noodle.ai, and Zededa—address issues such as the use of robots at scale, industrial motor modernization, supply chain waste, and secure, open-source edge computing.


Quick hits:

  • How InOrbit’s artificial intelligence-powered, cloud-based, robot management platform enables global orchestration of autonomous robots.
  • Learn about Turntide’s patented control software to optimize motor efficiency at all speeds and deliver real-time data on operating conditions and energy use.
  • Why industrial companies in multiple verticals are using Noodle.ai’s FlowOps technology to improve the flow of goods from raw materials to factory to shelf.
  • Zededa’s open-source technology can be used to deploy edge applications for OEE, predictive maintenance, quality control, and logistics.

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   Read the transcript below:

Hello and welcome to Take Five with Automation World. I’m David Greenfield, Director of Content, and in this episode we’ll be looking at new automation startups you should be aware of. These companies are targeting analytics and other software-related issues, developing new hardware devices, and increasingly combining hardware and software technologies to create smart devices. Here’s a quick look at four of these startups you should be aware of…

InOrbit offers an artificial intelligence-powered, cloud-based, robot management platform that enables robotics companies and operators to develop, deploy, and orchestrate autonomous robots at global scale. According to InOrbit, its platform provides tools for fleet management, data analytics, and specific robot operations. The goal of InOrbit is to help companies manage and optimize their robot fleet, whether it’s a handful of robots at a single site, or thousands of robots from various vendors across multiple locations.

The company’s latest funding was led by Animo Ventures, with participation by Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley, and Kärcher New Venture.

InOrbit has customers in industries ranging from supply chain and logistics to cleaning, retail, agriculture, and food services.

Another startup, Turntide, is focusing on the modernization of the world’s electric motors by combining a high rotor pole switched reluctance motor with software. Turntide’s Smart Motor System uses patented control software to optimize motor efficiency at all speeds. And a cloud dashboard delivers real-time data on operating conditions and energy use to predict maintenance issues before they occur.

The company has received $400 million in funding so far from numerous companies including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition Ventures, the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Keyframe Capital, Fifth Wall’s Climate Technology Fund, and Captain Planet LP. The company’s customer base includes more than 600 companies, including Amazon, which uses millions of motors in its distribution centers and corporate buildings, and BMW, which is piloting Turntide’s Smart Motor System at its plant in Spartanburg, S.C., to reduce electricity costs.

Noodle.ai is combining advanced artificial machine intelligence with human intelligence to address the 2 trillion dollars lost every year in the supply chain to waste.

Noodle.ai’s FlowOps technology consists of five applications that look for patterns in a company's operations to predict possible scenarios, continuously learn, and make recommendations that improve the flow of goods from raw materials to factories to shelf.

The software provides a view into near-term risks with the context to understand the impact to the business measured in dollars. The software predicts problems before they happen and provides recommended actions for how to correct and prevent the issue from recurring.

Noodle.ai has received funding from TPG Growth and Dell Technologies and has customers in the food and beverage, household goods, cosmetics, chemicals, steel, specialty metals, and automotive industries. 

Zededa offers a scalable cloud-based system to deliver visibility, control, and security for distributed edge computing. The company says its system gives users the ability to deploy and manage any app on any hardware at hyperscale while connecting to any cloud or on-premises system.

Zededa’s system use the open-source EVE-OS from the Linux Foundation to provide an open, flexible, and secure foundation and eliminate vendor lock-in. The company says its technology provides a consistent experience when deploying edge computing for applications such as OEE, predictive maintenance, quality control, and logistics. It also enables operators to consolidate workloads from apps like SCADA, HMIs, and historians alongside artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in containers.

A key aspect of Zededa’s edge technology is its use of the zero-trust security model to segment operations technology networks from IT systems with distributed firewall capabilities.

To date, Zededa has raised more than 30 million dollars from investors such as Lux Capital, Energize Ventures, Almaz Capital, Rockwell Automation, Juniper Networks, and EDF North America Ventures. Zededa currently has customers in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and energy industries.

You can read more about these companies and others at the URL shown here.

So, I hope you enjoyed this Take Five with Automation World episode. And please keep watching this space for new episodes to keep you on top of what’s happening in the world of industrial automation.

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