Exoskeleton builder Mebotx raises Series A funds to bolster growth

Mebotx's products are now deployed to segments including industrial logistics, automotive assembling, domestic services, emergency rescue, and military gear.

Mebotx (迈宝智能), a Chinese startup focusing on exoskeleton, has bagged tens of millions of yuan from a Series A funding round, Chinese tech media outlet 36kr reported yesterday.

The company roped in investors Suzhou Railway Newtown Fund and Wuxi Shenqi Haohui Fund in this round.

Money raised will be used to expand the product line, lower production cost, explore consumer-grade application and broaden the business scope, the company said in a statement.

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Suzhou, Mebotx mainly provides wearable exoskeleton products that generate an assistive force to enhance and augment the user’s physical capabilities.

Unlike the powertrain structure found on traditional exoskeletons, composed typically of motor, reducer and drive, Mebotx has rolled out a self-developed “coupling joint” featuring sensing abilities.

This joint has built-in sensors and drives, is relatively small in size, responds faster and in a manner compatible with human joint movement.

Exoskeleton differs with other type of robots in that it involves lots of human-machine interaction. This requires that the device be light enough, enable smooth interaction, respond quickly to physical motion, and generate a big power density, said Cheng Lidan, a founding member of Mebotx.

The startup’s coupling joint reportedly possesses a power density of 150Nm/Kg, making it a top-notch player among the peers.

Through deep learning based on big data, Mebotx’s exoskeletons can customize their functions to fit personalized needs, habits and gaits of users.

Besides, the firm also collected massive user data via a cloud platform to guide its iterations to the exoskeleton and establish “all-weather” ties with the user, according to the statement.

Mebotx’s products are now deployed to segments including industrial logistics, automotive assembling, domestic services, emergency rescue, and military gear.

For instance, the founding team worked in 2017 with a domestic retail logistics firm to conduct research on exoskeleton, with the intention to address high staff turnover due to work-related injuries.

The company has since updated its technologies and later used its exoskeletons to support moving workers from 58.com, a home service provider.

Of all the use cases, military is one of the target areas of Mebotx. Its exoskeletons are used as part of the single-soldier kit in some military units.

Mebotx also joined hands with local firefighting and emergency rescue squads, supplying wearable exoskeletons to empower them in outdoor rescue and training.

The company looks to push beyond its primary customer base of government and business buyers to tap into the broader consumer market.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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