Paxini (帕西尼感知科技), a Shenzhen-based startup focusing on multi-dimensional tactile sensors and humanoid robots, has completed a pre-Series A and a follow-on round of funding worth tens of millions of yuan, tech media outlet 36Kr reported yesterday.
IPV Capital led the rounds, with participation from Vlight Capital.
Proceeds from pre-Serie A will be primarily used to enrich the product portfolio, comprising tactile sensors, flexible robotic hands, humanoid robots and so on.
Founded in 2021, Paxini is committed to achieving breakthroughs in multi-dimensional sensing technology. It is considered to be instrumental in developing commercialized robots catering to all application scenarios.
The firm’s goal is to provide clients involved in labor-intensive industries and flexible manufacturing with an array of tactile sensors and general-purpose robots.
Labor market woes
According to the latest statistics, China has more than 80 million people employed to perform repetitive and dreary tasks.
This population is poised to shrink amid a demographic shift, a dwindling workforce and a chronic shortage of resources.
As robots are adopted in bigger numbers at factories, it has become all the more important to arm them with better tactile sensing abilities, which will significantly affect the way robots interact with humans.
Image credit: Pexels
“Sense of touch is an important human sensory perception, and it serves as a medium between the human body and the physical world,” said Xu Jincheng, founder and CEO of Paxini. “Thus it plays an irreplaceable role in the daily work of mankind.”
Nonetheless, compared to visual and auditory perception, the study on tactile perception is still in its infancy, despite the fact that the underlying neural mechanisms are way more complex, Xu told media.
He said this is why robotics and AI can solve complicated math problems and beat top human players at chess or Go but are unable to grab and manipulate objects with the same ease and dexterity as humans.
Adaptive and disruptive technologies
Paxini has already built an extensive product line around its multi-dimensional tactile sensors, including PXR ultra multi-axis force sensor, multi-dimensional tactile sensor PX-6AX, consumer-grade tactile sensor PX-3A, tactile robot hand DexH5 and humanoid Tora.
Image credit: Pexels
These sensors allow robots to be as agile and perceptive as humans. Based on massive data generated by these sensors and multi-modal algorithms, robots can adapt to different work procedures and use cases through self-learning.
Ultimately, they will supply robotic solutions to clients in smart manufacturing, healthcare, industrial production and consumer electronics.
Paxini’s Tora is reportedly the country’s first humanoid robot that comes with the firm’s tactile sensing system. It is widely applied in scenarios entailing fine movement or service sectors.
Commenting on the investment, Dr. Chen Yang of IPV Capital, the lead financial backer, stated that with China’s robotic market evolving from a fixation on integration to an innovation-driven model, Paxini stands out for independent technologies.
“Its propensity for disruptive innovation will enable it to make continued inroads,” he said.
Paxini’s developed sensors that come close to human skin. Coupled with its AI algorithms, they have given robotic end effectors like grippers keener senses, Xiao Rong, managing partner of Vlight Capital, said.
“This will foster the firm’s bid to erect technical barriers in developing humanoids, as well as seize the revolutionary opportunity amid worsening social issues such as aging and an acute labor shortage,” she noted.