XPeng Robotics, an affiliate of XPeng Inc., has announced an agreement to receive over $100 million in Series A capital funding, led by a group of longtime investors. The fresh financing will enable XPeng Robotics to further its R&D in robotic hardware and software and talent acquisition while accelerating product development. XPeng expects to have its dog-like robots in people’s homes within the next two years.
You’re probably familiar with XPeng Motors as we cover them quite a bit at Electrek, but parent company XPeng Inc. has a lot more going on than just cool EVs. XPeng also operates HT Aero – an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle developer currently working on its sixth generation flying car, scheduled to take flight in 2024.
In 2016, the company formed XPeng Robotics, which is dedicated to “creating smart robots for the good of human society.” Since then, the entity and its staff of around 300 have been focused almost entirely on R&D, specializing in robot powertrains, locomotion control, autonomy, robot interaction, and artificial intelligence.
During XPeng’s 1024 Tech Day last October, the company showcased its smart robot technology in the form of an AI “pony” equipped with a 360-degree peripheral camera and LiDAR sensing system, offering object recognition and sound field sensory capabilities. Oh, and the kiddos can ride it too! Here’s a quick rendering demo:
Following today’s news, XPeng Robotics has just become flush from one of the largest bionic robot funding rounds in China in recent years and hopes to bring its unicorn pony robots to homes soon.
XPeng garners big funding to bring household robots ‘to life’
The XPeng Inc. affiliate shared news of the Series A funding round in a press release out of China today, complete with several quotes from the team as well as representatives who invested in the capital raise, like IDG Capital.
XPeng plans to use the funds to further R&D, hire additional talent, and get its robots into households in the next two years. That will begin with XPeng’s quadruped robots, seen below, which will arrive with autonomous navigation and a “household-use robotic arm,” which can act as a companion with the ability to care for, entertain, and transport children. Giddyap.
Mr. Cui Guangfu, a partner at IDG Capital and one of the lead investors spoke about the opportunity XPeng has to deliver its unique robots:
The household robot market, still in its initial exploration phase, presents immense potential. Different entrepreneurial teams are innovating to create different products. The R&D development of XPENG Robotics and XPeng Inc. complement each other, creating a unique competitive advantage. We expect that XPENG Robotics will achieve innovative breakthrough through extensive R&D investment to open up the household robot market. We are privileged to join hands again with Mr. He Xiaopeng to develop the household robot market.
What do you guys think? A lot cuter than Tesla’s creepy humanoid robot right? Would you let your kids ride around on these XPeng pony robots? They could be trotting around family rooms soon!
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