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Cobalt Robotics Closes $13M in Series A Funding for Roving Security Robots

Cobalt autonomous robots are said to have the capability to scan an employee’s or a visitor’s badge; detect open doors, water leaks, spills or intrusions, among other tasks.

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Cobalt Robotics, a developer of robotic security guards for office buildings, has closed $13 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital.

The new funding will be used to further development of the start-up company’s roving security robots for use in commercial buildings. Founders Fund, Bloomberg Beta and other investors also participated in the series A investment.

Cobalt robots are said to have the capability to scan an employee’s or a visitor’s badge; detect open doors, water leaks, spills or intrusions, among other tasks. When they sense an anomaly in a building, they can alert a security personnel, who can send a guard to patrol in person as needed.

“Our system provides one person with situational awareness across an entire space at one time. The idea is to let machines do what they’re good at and people do what they’re good at,” Cobalt Robotics CEO and Co-founder Travis Deyle told CNBC.

Deyle founded Cobalt in 2016 after a stint working on a smart contact lens project for Google X, the search giant’s experimental research lab.

Sequoia led Cobalt’s latest funding round, and partner Alfred Lin is joining the company’s board of directors. The latest $13 million round brings Cobalt’s total funding to $16.5 million to date.

Lin backed Cobalt, CNBC reported, because its robots can help companies ensure the physical safety of their employees and facilities without constantly surveying them the way video surveillance cameras would do.

“It’s not just the utility of the thing,” he said, “it’s very empathetic, not like a PA system that’s blaring at you with mics and cameras recording your every move.”

In the wake of recent mass shootings and other related tragedies, Lin said, commercial building operators have been under pressure to ramp up security, but they can’t always afford all the full-time, human guards they want. He sees Cobalt’s robots helping large employers and facilities to fill in the gaps.

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