Lucid Bots Window Washing Drone Gets A Fresh Infusion of Investment Capital

Falls from scaffolds, lifts and ladders are the leading source of workplace fatalities in America. How can window washers, construction workers and other employees that perform their duties on office buildings and other tall structures be better protected from death or injury?

By replacing them with specially-equipped drones that can replace these workers and allow them to work more safely from the ground, some experts say.

Lucid Bots, creator of the cleaning drone “Sherpa” and other robotic products that automate dangerous, labor-intensive work operations, has just raised $9.1 million in Series A funding to scale its operations and expand its products into new niches.

The funding – mostly from Cubit Capital, but with additional support from Idea Fund Partners, Danu Venture Group, and existing investors that include Y Combinator’s Growth Fund and Gratus Capital – will also help the 9-year old company develop not only “Sherpa but also a new pressure-washing robot known as “Lavo Bot.”

“The demand for dynamic robots represents one of the largest market opportunities of our generation, and we look forward to leveraging this investment to accelerate the execution of our strategy as we expand to serve new customers and better support our existing customers,” says Andrew Ashur, founder and CEO of Lucid Bots.

Ashur insists that his drones aren’t intended to make current workers redundant.  He sees their role as “additive” and “transformational.”  When he approaches maintenance companies nationwide, he trains their workforce to integrate the aircraft into their current operations – for example, by becoming drone pilots, rather than performing the perilous work themselves.  He also suggests expanding drone use to include ongoing monitoring of building conditions with cameras, sensors and thermal imaging technology.

A drone, he notes, can perform their services on call, while current maintenance contracts usually stipulate just a yearly or twice-yearly cleaning operation.  If something unexpected happens, building residents have no recourse but to wait for the next maintenance call.

Lucid’s Sherpa drone – a hexacopter – is simple to set up and fly, which also makes it ideal for private residential use.  It’s industrial-sized but comes in foldable form that allows it to fit inside a large plastic carrying container.  The drone’s equipped to attach a simple garden hose to its fuselage that propels water at high speeds as the aircraft moves slowly from one building floor and set of windows to the next.  The Sherpa can fly continuously for about 20 minutes and comes with swappable batteries that make long interruptions unnecessary.

“A lot of our customers don’t have any prior drone flying experience so we wanted it to be as easy to use as possible,” Ashur says.

Philip Carson of Cubit Capital, says investing in Ashur’s company wasn’t a hard decision for the investment firm.

“Lucid Bots has pioneered a model where it costs less to build a drone domestically than it would to ship a drone from a manufacturer overseas. These differentiated capabilities, combined with strong revenue growth and a proven team, bring us immense confidence in their ability to win in this exciting, growing market,” he notes.

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