Movensys Acquires Skylla Technologies

Skylla Technologies, the MIT spinoff revolutionizing automation with people-centric robot intelligence, today announced its acquisition by Movensys, a global motion control platform company headquartered in South Korea.

According to Dr. Sheng Liu, Skylla’s CEO, in combination, the startup’s cutting-edge autonomous mobile robot (AMR) technology and Movensys’ state-of-the-art motion control system is a gamechanger.

“Movensys’ WMX brand software-based motion control technology is the perfect complement to Skylla’s Jetstream AMR control software,” says Kota Weaver, Skylla’s CTO. “Now, we can replace multiple dedicated controller units with a single, integrated WMX-Jetstream controller, leading to substantial customer savings in costs, power consumption, and space. Together, we intend to develop a global brand by providing the world’s leading software platform for smart automation.”

Born out of MIT Professor Harry Asada’s lab, Skylla was launched by a team of peerless roboticists and machine learning engineers in 2017. It already counts the world’s largest machine tool manufacturer as a customer and develops specialized solutions for a diverse array of industries, including manufacturing, material handling, and transportation.

Movensys is known for providing innovative, software-based motion control solutions for top-tier customers in key industries that span from semiconductors and electric vehicles to displays and logistics. The South Korean company also has deep roots in the MIT ecosystem. Dr. Bernard Boo-Ho Yang, its Founder, Chairman, and Chief Strategy Officer, was a classmate of Skylla’s CEO at MIT. Both studied under Professor Asada at the Institute.

In May 2022, Skylla and Movensys entered into a strategic partnership to jointly develop new technologies targeting AMR applications. Together, they built an integrated AMR solution that delivered unparalleled accuracy while effectively navigating complex factory and warehouse layouts. The offering was a success with Movensys’ customers, and just five months later, Dr. Yang, accompanied by Movensys CEO Roi Pak, was on a plane to Skylla’s headquarters in Lexington, MA to express his interest in acquiring the young startup.

Due diligence done and ink on the deal now dry, Movensys will use the acquisition to expand its business by creating a total AMR control platform. Acquiring Skylla also provides Movensys with an invaluable foothold in Boston’s robust robotics ecosystem and proximity to top-notch research universities. Working together, the two teams plan to establish the Boston Advanced R&D Center (BARC) in Boston, MA in the summer of 2023. The Center will serve as a home for innovative robotics research and development.

For its part, Skylla has already begun the search for a new space to accommodate a larger team. Liu says Skylla will soon double its total headcount to support development projects and professional service contracts. It intends to recruit engineers not only in its US office but also in Movensys’ office in Japan to support local customers.

In addition to technology fit, the two companies are a great match culturally. Both sides of the equation are energetic and highly passionate about building a world class software platform for the automation industry, which will allow customers to easily create, configure, and deploy automation solutions across many fields.