DroneDeploy acquires robotics software startup Rocos

The Robot Report
DroneDeploy

A vertical inspection application from DroneDeploy. | Credit: DroneDeploy

The acquisition train continues to roll in the robotics industry. After 9 mergers and acquisitions in July, today we have our second deal of August.

DroneDeploy, a San Francisco-based commercial drone data company, acquired Rocos, a New Zealand-based robotics software company. Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. DroneDeploy said this acquisition will allow its customers to deploy and coordinate both aerial and ground robots on their job sites.

For example, Rocos partnered with RBR50 company Boston Dynamics in May 2020. Rocos’ platform enables Spot users to design and schedule missions, remotely operate the robot and access the data it gathers, and immediately redirect the Spot quadruped as needed. A drone could fly over a solar power plant, identify thermal hotspots, and automatically activate Spot to walk under the hotspot to identify the exact problem.

“Companies are undergoing a digital transformation accelerated by challenges surrounding labor shortages and COVID-driven remote operations. As a result, the market demand for automatic site documentation and digital twins has soared,” said Mike Winn, CEO and co-founder of DroneDeploy. “With the Rocos acquisition, we are enabling our customers to automate ground-level data capture, moving several steps closer to a complete automation solution.”

DroneDeploy Rocos

Boston Dynamics’ Spot quadruped with the Rocos user experience overlay. | Credit: DroneDeploy

We last heard from DroneDeploy when it raised a $50 million Series E funding round in February 2021. This funding brought DroneDeploy’s total fundraising to date to $142 million.

DroneDeploy said it has already begun integrating Rocos’ software with its indoor data processing technology to deliver autonomous 360 Walkthrough and inspection at scale. The company will launch the new offerings at its annual DroneDeploy Conference this October.

“A few years ago, drones made the leap from hobbyist toys to enterprise tools. Now, ground robotics is on a similar trajectory,” said David Inggs, former CEO and co-founder of Rocos, now DroneDeploy’s head of ground robotics. “With the addition of Rocos’ ground robotics technology, DroneDeploy can now automate critical data workflows across both air and ground use cases, enabling greater safety and efficiency for the whole worksite.”

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