Israeli startup Intuition Robotics announced on Thursday that it raised $36 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Japan’s SPARX Group and OurCrowd, Israel’s most active investor and crowdfunding platform.

Additional investors included Toyota AI Ventures, iRobot, Samsung Next, Capital Point and Bloomberg Beta. This brings the company’s total funding to date to nearly $60 million.

Intuition Robotics was founded in 2016 by Itai Mendelsohn, Dor Skuler, and Roy Amir. The company developed a robot companion called the ElliQ which aims to help elderly users stay engaged, independent and connected to family and friends. The social robot mimics human movements and responds to voice, gaze, and touch. ElliQ offers tips and advice, responds to questions, engages throughout the day, makes appointments and reminds those in its care about medications. The tabletop robot was recently named among “100 best inventions” of 2019 by TIME Magazine.

Last summer, the company announced that it was also working on a digital companion for drivers called AutoQ “for a completely new – and entirely personal – automotive user experience.” 

The funding news was announced at the annual OurCrowd Global Summit in Jerusalem on Thursday where Intuition Robotics also unveiled its work with the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) on its in-car agent Yui based on the Israeli company’s cognitive AI platform Q. The tech is available to 3rd-party hardware companies.

Intuition Robotics said it will use the new funding to “fuel the evolution of agents from utilitarian digital assistants to full-fledged digital companions that are at our side, anticipating our needs and seamlessly, proactively improving our lives by helping us achieve certain outcomes,” said Skuler, who serves as CEO. “Our cognitive AI technology has the potential to transform the way people and machines interact through empathetic relationships built on trust, exhibiting highly personalized and delightful experiences that amplify our customers’ brands.”

“Intuition Robotics is creating disruptive technology that will inspire companies to re-imagine how machines might amplify the human experience,” said Jim Adler, founding managing partner at Toyota AI Ventures, who will also join the company’s board of directors.

Intuition Robotics is based in Israel with offices in California.

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