About Path Robotics
Based out of Columbus, Ohio, Path Robotics is an AI technology business that developed the world’s first autonomous robotic welding system. According to the company, Path Robotics creates AI manufacturing robots that autonomously scan, position, weld, and finish parts without the need of human welders or computer programmers.
Founded in 2014, the AI welding system created by the business uses proprietary computer scanning and computer vision technology to understand nearly any part that needs to be welded. This allows for versatility and the ability to adjust to unique parts.
Path Robotics offers a pay-as-you-go subscription model, requiring no upfront costs. However, the company does not disclose on its website the costs involved with each AI robot. That said, customers can test the welding system to ensure the robot meets expectations before deploying it in their facilities.
The business currently has two AI welding robot systems: AW-2 and AW-3. The AW-2 robot is designed for small and mid-size parts. The AW-3 robot is for longer parts that don’t fit in smaller welding cells. The company claims that its AI robots help reduce churn, create shorter production cycle times, and increase return on investment (ROI).
Future of Manufacturing
Path Robotics announced in a company statement that it raised $56 million in a Series B financing round led by Addition. Existing investors, such as Drive Capital, Basis Set, and Lemnos Lab, also participated in this round of funding. The company previously raised $12.5 million in a Series A financing round in December 2018. According to Crunchbase data, the business has raised $71 million in total financing.
Andrew Lonsberry, CEO of the company, said in a statement, “Current industrial robotics have very little ability to understand their environment and the task at hand. Most robots merely repeat what they are told and have no ability to improve themselves. Our goal is to change this. The future of manufacturing hinges on highly capable robotics.”
Although the company did not disclose what the business will specifically use the new capital for, Lonsberry added that Path Robotics hopes to address the welding shortage by creating the future of intelligent machines and manufacturing.
A valuation for the business was not disclosed.
The Welding Industry
While welding is an essential field, the United States (US) Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the demand for welders is expected to increase only 3% between 2019 and 2029. With fewer people entering the welding workforce, the average age of welders has increased.
As robots can automate welding processes, they decrease the need for companies to hire more welders. It was reported that the American Welding Society stated the welding workforce is expected to experience a shortage of around 400,000 by 2024.
While welders will be greatly affected by the possible changes in the industry, businesses have the potential to reduce costs and implement innovative AI robotic systems that are precise, like the one created by Path Robotics.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.