Canadian Manufacturing

Forcen raises $8.35M to enable robotics manufacturing and research

by CM Staff   

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Forcen will use this investment to scale up prototype production facilities to support more customers and continue developing its force/torque sensing technology.

TORONTO — Forcen, a Toronto, Canada-based robotics sensing & edge intelligence company, announced that it has closed a CAD$8.35M funding round. The round was co-led by Brightspark Ventures and BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund with participation by Garage Capital and MaRS IAF, and returning investors including EmergingVC.

Forcen will use this investment to scale up prototype production facilities to support more customers and continue developing its force/torque sensing technology and edge intelligence designed to enable robot companies to deploy robotic manipulation in complex and unstructured applications. “Robotic vision has undergone a revolution over the past decade and is continuing to accelerate with new AI approaches,” said Mark Skapinker, Co-Founder and Partner at Brightspark Ventures. “We expect robotic manipulation to quickly follow in the footsteps of robotic vision and Forcen’s technology to be a key enabler of ubiquitous human-level robotic manipulation.”

Forcen says their technology is already moving into production with customers in surgical, logistic, and space robotics. “We’ve been focused on delivering custom solutions showcasing our world-first technology with world-class quality, and we’re excited for our customers to announce the robots they’ve been working on with our technology,” said Robert Brooks, founder and CEO of Forcen. “Providing custom solutions has limited the number of customers we take on, but now we’re working to change that”.

To accelerate development for current customers and allow more robotics companies to start working with Forcen’s unique technology earlier on, Forcen is launching a rapidly customizable offering as well as off-the-shelf development kits. The rapidly customizable offering will use generative design and standard subassemblies to allow customers to select the size, sensing range/sensitivity, overload protection, mounting bolt pattern, and connector type/location with fulfillment in as little as 4-6 weeks.


Unique Technology for Complex and Less-Structured Robotics Applications

Complex and less-structured robotics applications are challenging for conventional force/torque sensing technologies because of the risk of repeated impact/overload, wide temperature ranges/changes, and extreme constraints on size and weight. These applications are becoming increasingly common including surgical, logistic, humanoid/quadrupedal, space, agricultural/food, and underwater robotics.  Forcen says their robotics are designed for these complex and less-structured applications using three core proprietary technologies:

  • ForceFilm – A monolithic thin-film transducer.  Enables sensing systems that are supposedly lighter, thinner, more stable across both drift and temperature, and scalable; especially, for multi-dimensional sensing.
  • DedicatedOverload – A dedicated overload protection structure that acts as a 6 DoF hard stop. This dedicated protection structure provides sensitivity and overload protection to be designed separately and enables durable use of the overload structure.
  • Synap – Forcen’s on-board edge intelligence. This edge intelligence comes factory compensated/calibrated with connection to any standard digital bus (USB, CAN, Ethernet, EtherCAT) to create a full-stack force/torque sensing solution that is truly plug-and-play with maintenance/calibration-free operation.


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