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Prof. George Whitesides of the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard University invented the “Pneu-Net” soft robotics actuator as part of the DARPA ChemBots program.


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Soft Robotics Inc. is born in July, acquiring exclusive licensing of the Whitesides portfolio (11 issued patents, 25 pending Harvard and 21 company owned applications). Receives grants from DARPA to mature the technology.


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After advancing the platform and proving it can work in a variety of potential markets, SRI focuses on industrial automation. Raises Series A in December.



Production installations in food, advanced manufacturing and e-commerce running 24/7 for billions of cycles. Customers include Fortune 500 companies and Dow 30 components.