GreyMatter Robotics, a creator of advanced robotic assistants for surface-treatment tasks on manufacturing lines such as sanding and spraying, announced that it has raised $4.1 million in a Seed round. The round of funding was led by Stage Venture Partners and Calibrate Ventures, with participation from 3M Ventures, OCA Ventures, Pathbreaker Ventures, and B Capital Group.

Ariyan Kabir, co-founder, and CEO of GrayMatter Robotics said, “It is shocking that millions of people still manually work on extremely tedious tasks that can be harmful to their health; younger generations do not want such jobs. We want to improve shop workers’ lives, enhance their productivity, and enable them to focus on higher-value tasks. Manufacturing drives our economy, and without automating surface finishing and treatment, there is a significant risk the global economy may suffer due to an increasing labor shortage.”

Industrial robots can program themselves with GrayMatter’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. GrayMatter provides surface-finishing manufacturers with smart robotic assistants for surface finishing, combining its software with commercially available robots, sensors, and tools. A GrayMatter-powered robot can learn to work on a brand-new part in just minutes. A turnkey robotic solution from the company can improve productivity and quality in the manufacturing industry while maintaining a digital record to aid in improving operations.

In the manufacturing process, several surface finishing and treatment processes are used, such as sanding, polishing, deburring, and spraying. US workers perform these tedious and ergonomically challenging tasks by hand in more than 1.5 million cases. They work on parts and products of all sizes and shapes.

The retirement rate for baby boomers continues to rise, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers to find skilled workers for such applications. The repetitive movements required for manual surface treatments put workers at risk of injury. GrayMatter creates smart robotic assistants that can be operated by operators with no robotics training on the shop floor.