Kindred AI

Kindred AI

Kindred AI is a humanoid robot company founded in 2014 by George Babu, Geordie Rose, James Bergstra and Suzanne Gildert.

Kindred AI, also known as Kindred Systems, was founded in June 2014 by George Babu, Suzanne Gildert and James Bergstra and Geordie Rose. Rose is previous founder and CEO of D-Wave Systems, with Gildert previously employed at the company as well. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Kindred also has offices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Flagship Products
SORT

SORT is an autonomous learning machine marketed towards retail fulfillment centers, that combines physical sorting robots with integration consulting and remote piloting services to manage, sort and move products. SORT uses machine learning algorithms to learn from previous management systems to automate repetitive tasks and increase productivity.

The machines use their sensors and physical arms to sort items. If the robot reaches a problem in their sorting or is unsure how to proceed, it will flag a human observer who will take control of the machine to solve the problem. This effectively teaches the machine how to solve the problem moving forward, and requires less human-to-human contact.

Kindred released SORT 3.7 in Atlanta on March 9-12, 2020, with the claim the unit can sort 400 units per hour consistently. On October 12, 2020, the company announced that its fleet of machines sold to businesses have picked and sorted a lifetime of 100 million retail units since market launch in 2017.

AutoGraspTM

AutoGrasp is Kindred's robotics intelligence platform, which utilizes AI algorithms to combine vision, grasping and manipulation functions in robots. The platform allows real-time machine learning in unstructured environments that include changing variables, making it useful in fulfillment and sorting centers.

SenseActTM

SenseAct was introduced in September 2018 as an open-source task suite, used to develop and evaluate reinforcement learning methods with physical robots. The interface is aimed to enable responsive learned behavior and reliable learning in a variety of robots including UR Robotic Arms, Dyamixels Servos and Create 2 Mobile Bases.

Spin-Offs and Acquisitions
AGI Research Division Spin-Off

Following the growth of Kindred's SORT robots, Kindred decided to spin-off its Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) research division in January 2018. Geordie Rose and Suzanne Gildert stepped down as CEO and CSO to co-found Sanctuary.AI, a spin-off aimed at creating robots with human-like appearance and intelligence. COO Jim Liefer stepped up to take over as CEO, with co-founder James Bergstra assuming the CSO role.

Ocado Acquisition of Kindred Systems

Ocado Group, a British online supermarket with no physical retail stores, announced on November 2, 2020, that it had acquired Kindred Systems for approximately $262 million USD (along with Las Vegas-based robotics arm creator Haddington Dynamics). Ocado's warehouses focus on robotic automation, which has attracted the attention of other grocers; Kroger announced November 24, 2020 they will use Ocado's technology in their own fulfillment centers.

Timeline

November 2, 2020
Ocado Group closes $262 million USD acquisition of Kindred Systems
August 11, 2020
Kindred AI Appoints COO Marin Tchakarov to CEO
February 14, 2019
Kindred AI raises a $36,000,000 series C round.
January 5, 2018
Kindred AGI Research division spins-off, CEO Geordie Rose and CSO Suzanne Gildert step down to co-found Sanctuary.AI
October 2017
Kindred AI raises a $28,000,000 series B round from First Round Capital, Tencent and Eclipse Ventures.
September 11, 2017
Kindred begins SORT pilot, integrating machines in GAP warehouses
February 23, 2016
Kindred co-founder Suzanne Gildert files patent describing scheme for combining different tele-operation systems with machine learning
August 2015
Kindred AI raises a $16,000,000 series A round from 11.2 Capital, Data Collective and Bold Capital Partners.

Funding rounds

Funding round
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Investment
Kindred AI Series A round, August 2015
16,000,000
August 2015
3 Results
Results per page:
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Products

Product
Launch date
Industry
Website
SORT (product)
2017
3 Results
Results per page:
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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Anjali Naik

Employee

Bojan Bogdanovic

Employee

Coral Cripps

Employee

Cynthia Perla

Employee

Dieta Jones Baumgardt

Employee

Eugene Ma

Employee

Gemma Ross

Employee

George Babu

Co-Founder, board member

Greg Williams

Employee

Hugo Louis Seize

Employee

James Bergstra

Co-Founder, Head of AI Research

Jim Holmes

Employee

Justin Borja

Employee

Justine Ramos

Employee

Lindsay Langsdale

Employee

Lyz Lewis

Employee

Manny Guerrero

Employee

Michelle Kim

Employee

Stefan Sokic

Employee

Stephanie Sher

Employee

Steven Jacob

Employee

William Ma

Employee

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Companies Step Up Distribution Automation Under Pandemic Strains

Jennifer Smith

Web

August 12, 2020

Secretive Canadian Company Teaches Robots to Be More Like People

Gerrit De Vynck

Web

October 26, 2016

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

The AI Robots That Want Your Job

June 18, 2018

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Madeline Stone
February 12, 2021
Business Insider
Retailers are facing unprecedented demand for e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic. And they believe robots can help.
Madeline Stone
January 28, 2021
Business Insider
There's a big opportunity for "cobots," or robots that are intended to work along humans inside retail fulfillment centers.
Jeffrey Dastin
May 21, 2020
U.S.
U.S. apparel chain Gap Inc is speeding up its rollout of warehouse robots for assembling online orders so it can limit human contact during the coronavirus pandemic, the company told Reuters.

References

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