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Clobotics revs up drone data venture with $5M

Drone inspection
A drone inspects turbines at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s wind farm in California’s Solano County. (SMUD via YouTube)

Small drones, big data and computer vision: That’s the tech-frontier trifecta for Clobotics, a Shanghai startup that says it’s raised $5 million in seed funding and opened a research and development center in the Seattle area.

“This is where I took the plunge,” Clobotics co-founder George Yan, a former executive at Microsoft China and the Chinese drone venture Ehang, told GeekWire.

Yan said Clobotics (“cloud” plus “robotics”) has been more than a decade in the making. The venture aims to capitalize on the capabilities of aerial robotics and artificial intelligence to automate the task of evaluating the condition of hard-to-reach infrastructure.

GGV Capital, a U.S.-Chinese venture capital firm, is leading a $5 million financing round to get Clobotics off the ground, Yan said.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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