Amazon acquires robotic delivery startup Canvas Technology

The startup focuses on the end-to-end autonomous delivery of goods.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Amazon has acquired Canvas Technology, a startup in the autonomous delivery robotics field.

The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. Amazon confirmed the acquisition on Wednesday. 

Founded in 2015, the Boulder, Colorado-based startup specializes in autonomous driving technologies -- but not the consumer kind we are constantly reading about, such as Tesla's driving assistance software or Google's self-driving cars.

Instead, Canvas Technology develops technology which is more suited to business use cases, including robotics suitable for deliveries both in and outdoors & manufacturing. 

The company has previously designed self-driving carts which could be used in warehouse settings.

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The deal was first reported by TechCrunch. An Amazon spokesperson said the startup and Amazon share a "common vision" for a future when humans and robotics are working side-by-side in a safe manner.

"We look forward to working with Canvas Technology's fantastic team to keep inventing for customers," the spokesperson added.

Canvas Technology has previously secured $15 million in funding through a Series A funding round led by Playground Global. Other investors include Xplorer Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, and Morado Ventures.

The deal makes sense given Amazon's vast warehouse presence and interest in any form of robotics which can make the fulfillment and logistics processes more efficient.

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The e-retailer's Robotics arm, Amazon Robotics, was founded in 2003 in order to pursue the goals of "reimagining" customer experience through automation.

This includes developing autonomous mobile robots, control systems bolstered through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), natural language processing, and object recognition.

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Amazon has also shown interest in vehicle self-driving technologies. In February, the company participated in a $530 million Series B funding round for Aurora, a startup which is developing the Aurora Driver system, intended to help promote the movement of "people and goods more safely, inexpensively, and efficiently throughout the world's cities."

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