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The recent funding round, which brought on investors including Yidu Cloud, Tsinghua AI Fund and Matrix Partners, brings Trifo’s total funding to $26 million since it was founded in 2016, the company announced Thursday.
“We support Trifo’s vision for AI home robots, which goes beyond traditional cleaning capabilities,” Rick Liang, senior vice president of Yidu Cloud, said in a statement. “With the strategic investment in Trifo, we look forward to enhancing the home robot experience into a new dimension.”
What sets the company’s Alexa-enabled vacuuming robots are their home surveillance capabilities, which allow owners to set up alerts and make recordings whenever the Max robot detects any noises, people or motion at home. Owners can also use an app to control the robot and its camera, and even to speak through it.
Trifo’s latest model, named Lucy, adds a second camera with a depth sensor and night vision. It’s designed to detect small objects like socks or pet waste and avoid them. And the company said the Lucy can operate for up to 120 minutes between charges.
“Lucy reflects the evolution of our products from robot vacuums to AIoT-enabled (Artificial Intelligence/Internet of Things) home robots that can assist with a wide range of features that help people with their life and work,” CEO Zhe Zhang said.
Trifo said it has been granted about 50 U.S. and Chinese patents and has filed for more than 70 others.
Going ahead, Trifo plans to “build a family of home robots,” the company said in a press release. The company said it’s developing robots to address personal healthcare management, home environment understanding and monitoring and entertainment services.
“Trifo has quickly developed highly advanced algorithms and AI-based robotic intelligence and monetized these into commercially-viable products,” Yicheng Li, partner at Tsinghua AI Fund, said in a statement. “We are eager to support the company and Zhe’s leadership as it expands its offering into a complete ecosystem of home robots to serve a wide range of people’s needs.”
The market for household robots is estimated to increase from $3.3 billion last year to $9.1 billion in 2024, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.