Humatics, a Cambridge-based startup developing “microlocation” technology, has bolstered its ambitions to get into the autonomous vehicle and smart city space with its first acquisition.
The company — whose technology is already used to facilitate the close collaboration of humans and industrial robots — announced on Tuesday that it has acquired 5D Robotics, a Carlsbad, Calif.,-based company, along with its subsidiary, Time Domain, a 31-year-old company based in Huntsville, Ala., that develops ultra-wideband technology.
David Mindell, co-founder and CEO of Humatics, declined to disclose financial terms of the deal. However, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from earlier this month shows that the company raised a $7 million equity offering in connection with a merger or acquisition. Mindell said Humatics has not yet raised any additional money to fund the deal, though the company will probably raise money in the future for that purpose.
“One of the reasons we were excited to do this acquisition is it propels us into the mobility space immediately.”
The deal comes five months after Humatics raised an $18.1 million Series A financing round led by Fontinalis Partners, a Detroit-based venture capital firm with a Boston presence that counts Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford as a founder. Other investors include Analog Devices founder Ray Stata, Airbus Ventures and Lockheed Martin Ventures.
Mindell told BostInno that the company was already looking at potential applications in the autonomous vehicle space but that the acquisition of 5D Robotics and Time Domain accelerate its entry into the space. He said 5D Robotics’ radio-frequency (RF) positioning technology, which can help autonomous vehicles navigate more complex 3-D environments, such as rain, snow and sleet, is already being used in advanced trials with self-driving cars.
“One of the reasons we were excited to do this acquisition is it propels us into the mobility space immediately,” Mindell said. Humatics is also looking into smart city applications.
Founded in 2015 by Mindell, an aerospace engineering professor at MIT, and Gary Cohen, a former biotech executive, Humatics is developing millimeter-scale RF positioning technology that can be used for human-robot collaboration, precise navigation for robots and drone control, among other things. Mindell said the company has already received “great early traction” in the industrial sector.
With the acquisition of 5D Robotics, Humatics now has access to centimeter-scale RF positioning technology that is better suited for autonomous vehicle and smart city applications. Mindell said 5D Robotics and Time Domain’s technology is already “distributed in the thousands in a variety of industrial applications,” as well as rail safety and transportation.
The 5D Robotics acquisition adds 23 employees to Humatics’ 25-person team and gives the Cambridge-based company new offices in Carlsbad, Calif., and Huntsville, Ala.