I’m thrilled to share that Intrinsic and Vicarious are now one team with an ambitious mission to unlock the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses and developers.
Over the last few years, Vicarious has carved a unique path in the robotics as a service (RaaS) space, serving market-leading customers with turnkey solutions for high-demand tasks like kitting and palletizing, among others. They also built a passionate and multidisciplinary team in the process, including folks from their recently acquired subsidiary, Akasha Imaging — a computational imaging company offering perception capabilities and a proprietary vision system enabling robots to ‘see’ with the help of AI.
Wendy Tan White, Chief Executive Officer (center), Scott Phoenix, Chief Product & Revenue Officer (right), and Kartik Venkataraman, Head of Engineering Applications (left).
Both Scott Phoenix, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vicarious, and Kartik Venkataraman, former CEO of Akasha Imaging, join Intrinsic — Scott, as Chief Product & Revenue Officer, and Kartik, as Head of Engineering Applications, working for Torsten Kroeger, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Intrinsic. Additionally, a large group of engineers and business personnel from both Vicarious and Akasha Imaging join Intrinsic, expanding our team’s skill sets, capacities and perspectives.
“Humanity is entering a golden age for intelligent robotics. Combining efforts represents a huge leap forward for our shared mission."
— Scott Phoenix, Chief Product & Revenue Officer, Intrinsic (former CEO of Vicarious)
A software platform for intelligent robotics
Intrinsic is a mission-first company and our mission is an audacious one. It’s about resetting the world’s expectations about what robots are able to do and who gets to use them — democratizing access as we go. Robots are incredible productivity tools; however, due to their complexity, programming, and servicing costs, they are impractical and inaccessible for the vast majority of the world’s businesses. This limits creativity and potential productivity for millions of makers, precluding them from greater participation in local and global economies. Today, entrepreneurs, product designers, fabricators and engineers can’t easily access robotic tools to innovate and grow.
Can you imagine not being able to use a computer at work? In the 1960s and 1970s, very few companies could afford the capital and operational expenditure to set up computer mainframes, even though they were incredibly valuable tools. It wasn’t until software innovation caught up with computer hardware innovation that computers became a must-have productivity tool for the average worker. That same shift is happening in robotics today.
Suffice to say, it’s a promising time to be a software company in a hardware-focused industry. That’s why we’re excited to share that our combined team will be building a software platform for intelligent robotics; one that brings together the best of our collective capabilities and makes them usable for others. We’re grateful to be an Alphabet company, which offers us the chance to learn from and work with teams who have built thriving ecosystems and communities around software platforms in different industries.
Over time, we aim to build a platform that connects the providers of automation hardware and software — think equipment providers, or AI and machine learning experts — with businesses who need custom manufacturing solutions. With intuitive software, AI-enabled solution development and scalable infrastructure, more people will be able to build, design and deploy robotic applications to solve problems in ways they couldn’t before.
Intrinsic team members changing the gripper on one of the robots at our Intrinsic lab
At the moment, we’re working with robotics and automation experts who know their craft inside and out. They are the developers, robot programmers and application engineers who spend a disproportionate amount of time and effort navigating complex hardware and software systems to build reliable robotic solutions. We aim to help this group spend more time solving actual domain-specific problems – the most valuable part of their work – and less time troubleshooting hardware and software compatibility issues from dozens of disparate suppliers and systems. These experts typically work for companies who build automation solutions, such as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), specialty solution providers or system integrators.
These are tough problems to solve and through collaboration with innovation partners and early customers, we are testing modern software development frameworks and tools to substantially improve the speed and efficacy of robotic programming. In the not-too-distant future, and by fully leveraging data, simulation, advanced algorithms and perception, we could help make industrial robot programming a viable, highly effective option for non-experts.
Intrinsic team members developing a robotic application
Day to day, we are witnessing extraordinary demand for automation from more types of companies, big and small, across industries everywhere. The request is always similar: “Make it much easier for us to use robots.” It’s a timely request, too, especially given the last few years of destabilizing global events. We have seen how rigid supply chains can break and how centralized and inflexible manufacturing processes can’t adequately adapt to changes in process. Consider how difficult it was for the world to get enough ventilators, masks, hand sanitizer, vaccines and car chips. Moving toward more flexible ways of programming and repurposing robots, in part, could help the world’s makers adapt quickly and economically to constant change.
What better way to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead than with a team of passionate people, cutting-edge technologies and the perfect timing to build a new platform for the world.
If you’d like to join our mission at Intrinsic, please check out our careers page for open roles, join our mailing list, or follow us on LinkedIn to stay in touch.
Our combined team, meeting for the first time.