Glidance raises $1.5M to develop robots for visually impaired

Glidance raises .5M to develop robots for visually impaired
Glidance raises .5M to develop robots for visually impaired

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Glidance raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding for its Glide robotic that provides autonomous mobility help for the visually impaired. The oversubscribed spherical will speed up the event of Glide, which is now available for pre-order, and assist launch the Alpha and BETA assessments in late summer season and early fall throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, and the U.Ok.

Glide makes use of AI and navigational robotics to assist blind and low-vision people enhance their independence. Glidance mentioned the robotic adapts to a person’s tempo whereas guaranteeing they keep away from obstacles. The robotic may also present some understanding of the surroundings by way of audio and haptic suggestions.

A more recent technology of Glide has a smaller type issue that features a built-in kickstand to park the unit when it’s not in use. The system doesn’t use powered wheels and as an alternative actively steers the person safely round obstacles. Because of this, the unit is designed to function all day on a single cost.

Amos Miller, co-founder & CEO of Glidance, misplaced his eyesight in his mid-twenties as a consequence of a genetic eye situation.

“This private expertise motivated me to create Glide — an answer I wanted and wished for myself. As a former product govt at Microsoft Analysis and Chairman of the Board at Information Canines for the Blind (UK), I devoted my profession to leveraging expertise to interrupt down limitations. Glide, powered by cutting-edge AI and robotics applied sciences, demonstrates that when such applied sciences deal with significant human wants, they will create a venture-scale enterprise with a considerable influence. We’re deeply grateful to our unbelievable traders, who proceed to problem and information us in shaping our enterprise mannequin and technique.”

Illustration of the new Glide prototype showing a close up of the haptic feedback in the handle. The robot is built by Glidance.

The brand new Glide technology consists of haptic suggestions within the deal with and a built-in kickstand. | Credit score: Glide

Glidance won the 2023 RoboBusiness Pitchfire Startup Competition. RoboBusiness is produced by The Robotic Report and guardian firm WTWH Media. RoboBusiness 2024 takes place Oct. 16-17 in Santa Clara, Calif. and is on the lookout for startups to compete in Pitchfire. Competing startups obtain a free sales space on the expo flooring, can schedule one-on-one conferences with traders, community with 1000’s of {industry} colleagues and extra. Fill out this form here by Aug. 9 to be considered.

Glidance’s pre-seed spherical noticed participation from Grep VC, Prota Ventures, Greenwood & Cavalier, St. Johns Neighborhood Service, Alliance of Angels, TiE Oregon Angels, and different industry-leading angel traders and teams.

“Glidance confirms the expertise optimist in us all,” mentioned Paul Willard, managing director of Grep VC. “Nice founders can apply cutting-edge tech to enhance lives so powerfully that in addition they create highly effective worth propositions for enterprise and traders.”

In its funding announcement, Glidance mentioned 98% of blind people select to not depart dwelling alone because of the lack of accessible navigation choices. Within the U.S., there are 7.3 million visually impaired individuals, however solely a small fraction have entry to white canes and information canine as a consequence of restricted packages, coaching programs, and funding.

Miller was a visitor on The Robot Report Podcast in October 2023 and laid out his go-to-market plan. Glidance additionally won a 2024 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award.

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