Humatics Accelerates Microlocation Innovation with Acquisition of 5D Robotics and Time Domain
Millimeter- and centimeter-scale microlocation sensors and software will revolutionize industrial automation, next-generation construction, autonomous vehicles and smart cities
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 27, 2018 – Humatics Corporation, the company developing breakthrough microlocation products, today announced the acquisition of 5D Robotics and its subsidiary, Time Domain. Humatics is developing radio-frequency (RF) sensors that measure the positions of objects in three-dimensional space with unprecedented, millimeter-scale precision at up to 30-meter ranges. 5D Robotics and Time Domain make RF systems that locate objects with centimeter-scale precision at up to 500-meter ranges. Together, the combined company will offer products that measure position with precisions that will transform industrial automation, next-generation construction, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities.
Location matters. To interact safely and seamlessly with people and their environments, autonomous systems such as drones, vehicles, and robots need to know precisely where they are at all times. GPS lacks the required accuracy, and doesn’t work indoors. Cameras and lasers help, but they rely on data-intensive maps and fail in dusty, rainy, foggy, or snowy conditions. Only RF technologies are able to overcome all these challenges.
5D Robotics and Time Domain are providing proven centimeter-scale sensors to the industrial automation and manufacturing markets. Humatics’ breakthrough Spatial Intelligence Platform™ captures and calculates even more precise 3D positions, indoors and out. Together, the technologies greatly expand Humatics’ new product category – microlocation — for improved safety, efficiency and productivity.
The acquisition also consolidates a considerable patent portfolio, making Humatics the only industry player offering a comprehensive technology stack capable of addressing the microlocation challenge.
“Time Domain has been the leader in precision positioning for many years, taking the technology to chip-scale solutions deployed at scale in challenging, critical environments,” said Ray Stata, founder and Chairman of Analog Devices, Series A investor and board member at Humatics. “I’m delighted to see the 5D Robotics and Time Domain products join Humatics’ technology portfolio. The synthesis of these technologies will make robust, precise positioning – and all the applications it unlocks – a reality.”
“Since we led the Series A last April, Humatics has exceeded the many milestones set by the board,” said Chris Cheever, co-founder and partner at Fontinalis Partners, a venture capital firm focused on next-generation mobility technologies. “That includes demonstrating successful pilots with brand-name customers, attracting world-class technology and business leaders, growing the team to nearly 50 employees, and most recently, completing this very strategic and timely acquisition. It’s transformed Humatics from a development-stage startup into a fully integrated, solutions-driven company capable of unlocking and creating value for next-generation mobility and countless other industries starved for exact location intelligence.”
Gabe Klein, co-founder of smart cities advisory services firm CityFi and a Special Venture Partner at Fontinalis, said, “As former head of the D.C. and Chicago Departments of Transportation, I’m acutely attuned to the challenges of keeping people safe as we create the cities of the future. The newly expanded Humatics team has foundational technology that’s poised to augment or replace GPS and better manage interactions between people and moving objects like cars and drones.”
“We have a passion for precision. We’ve always been the state-of-the-art RF solution, providing our customers with centimeter-scale accuracy,” said Rachel Reinhardt, a senior leader at 5D Robotics and Time Domain who now joins the Humatics management team. “But Humatics takes that to the next level—we’re now millimeter scale. The team is thrilled with this acquisition, and we’re already hard at work advancing the combined technology,” she said.
In 2017 Humatics closed an $18 million series A financing round and was recognized as one of Built in Boston’s top start-ups to watch. With the added technology and talent brought by the 5D Robotics and Time Domain acquisition, the company is in an even stronger position to provide the “location layer” that will be crucial for smooth, safe collaboration between people and machines in connected environments.
“At Humatics we’ve been focusing our development work on industrial automation applications,” said David Mindell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Humatics. “With the acquisition, we’re now positioned as a key enabler for next-generation construction, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities. With Humatics products, people, robots, and infrastructure can locate, navigate, and collaborate – with robust precision – to create extraordinary value in the connected world.”
Humatics’ centimeter-scale microlocation sensors and software solutions are shipping today. Millimeter-scale capabilities will be piloted in 2018 and launched in 2019.
Humatics is pioneering microlocation technology, offering millimeter- and centimeter-scale positioning that is faster, more precise, and more affordable than any 3D positioning or location tracking technology on the market. Its breakthrough microlocation system and analytics software comprise a Spatial Intelligence Platform™ that will revolutionize how people and machines locate, navigate, and collaborate in the connected world. With its extensible architecture and application programming interfaces (APIs), the Humatics Spatial Intelligence Platform™ will power an ecosystem of new position-based products and services with the promise to transform huge markets including industrial automation, next-generation construction, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Humatics was founded in 2015 by CEO David Mindell (a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and chair of MIT’s Work of the Future Task Force) and President Gary Cohen, a technology industry veteran.
About 5D Robotics, Inc.
5D Robotics, Inc., located in Carlsbad, California, is a world leader in the development of technologies that provide extremely accurate position and navigation, obstacle avoidance, and guarded motion. These solutions work in almost any setting, including indoor environments without GPS and outdoor environments with rain and snow. 5D’s solution can be found in air and ground vehicles ranging in applications from industrial, mapping and inspection, and automotive to smart mobility.
About Time Domain Corporation
Time Domain was founded over 25 years ago, and developed the world’s first ultra-wide-band (UWB) silicon chipset in 1999. As a technology leader in UWB product development and services, Time Domain makes PulsON® OEM modules that enable breakthrough capabilities for a wide range of precision ranging, communications, and radar applications. Time Domain is located in Huntsville, Alabama.