Electroadhesion start-up gets Series A funding from VCs, Nike

SRI International spin-off Grabit Inc., which has developed a patented electroadhesion technology for robotics, material handling, and industrial automation, has received Series A funding. The investment was led by venture capital firm Formation 8 with additional investments from ABB Technology Ventures and Nike Inc.

The amount invested by each firm was not disclosed, but SEC documents filed over the summer show Grabit had raised $3 million of a $6 million offering.

Electroadhesion is an early-stage, electrically controllable adhesion technology that requires very low power consumption. The company says the technique can be applied to a variety of materials with smooth, rough or dusty surfaces. Grabit currently uses the technology to build grippers and smart conveyors for manufacturing and logistics.

“Grabit’s electroadhesion-based material handling products provide a technique of holding or grasping objects with minimal mechanical actuation and energy expenditure,” Harsha Prahlad, co-founder of Grabit, said in a statement. “In many applications, Grabit’s products provide significant customer-validated advantages in performance, operational flexibility, and higher throughputs. In addition, these products provide savings in size, weight, and power compared to conventional material handling solutions.”

Grabit says it currently has more than a dozen customers globally, including several Fortune 500 companies.

[ photos courtesy of Grabit and SRI International ]