Labrador Systems, an early stage tech company developing assistive robots, announced it had raised $3.1 million in seed funding.
The Calabasas business will use the funding to grow its engineering team, accelerate efforts with manufacturing partners and expand its consumer and commercial activities, Labrador said in a release.
The seed round was co-led by Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa Fund and iRobot Ventures in Bedford, Mass. with SOSV in Princeton, N.J. as a returning investor and grep-VC joining as a new investor.
The San Fernando Valley company also announced the introduction of the Labrador Retriever, a personal robot for people with mobility challenges that allows them to live more independently by providing them with physical assistance with everyday activities around the home.
Labrador expects to be in full production on the Retriever by the second half of next year, with test units available earlier.
The Retriever is large enough to carry items such as a laundry basket yet agile enough to navigate tight spaces of a home. It also features a retrieval and delivery system to bring items within reach. Users can command the robot using their smart phone or through an Alexa-enabled device, according to Labrador’s release.
Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, said that Labrador is advancing the state of what it means to aid people who are aging and have mobility issues.
“They are addressing a significant problem in our society and have brought their decades of experience in consumer robotics to bear, delivering a product that will help empower people to live better lives,” Bernard said in a statement.