Investor Dean Drako acquires Cobalt Robotics

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cobalt robot in a building hallway.

The Cobalt mobile robot features autonomous driving technology, allowing it to navigate through various terrains and obstacles with ease, ensuring constant vigilance without human operation. | Credit: Cobalt robotics

Cobalt Robotics has been acquired by investor Dean Drako, and the name of the firm has been changed to Cobalt AI. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The name change was made to more accurately represent the future direction of the company and the products it offers.

Drako is the founder and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks, in addition to a number of other enterprises and side projects. Cobalt AI fits closest to the Eagle Eye Smart Video Surveillance portfolio of solutions.

There are no major changes to Cobalt’s leadership other than Drako serving as the company’s chairman. Ken Wolff, Cobalt’s current CEO, will continue leading the company. The company will also continue to operate as an independent company with its current management team and entire staff.

Cobalt started with mobile robotics

Cobalt Robotics was founded in 2016 as a developer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for security applications. The AMRs were designed to patrol the interior of a facility while actively surveilling activities and remotely monitoring the facilities as an extension of the building’s security.

To meet the growing needs of its corporate customers, Cobalt developed AI-based algorithms for alarm filtering, remote monitoring, sensing, and other autonomous data-gathering functions. In addition to the sensors onboard the Cobalt AMR, the Cobalt Monitoring Intelligence and Cobalt Command Center gather data from a broad range of cameras, access control systems, robots, and other edge devices.

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“The company monitoring and command center technology is a catalyst for a new era of security,” said Drako. “They have created field-proven AI to make security and guarding tremendously more effective and efficient. Furthermore, Cobalt’s open platform strategy, which integrates with a plethora of video and access systems, is aligned with the open product strategy I believe in.”

Drako’s vision for sensor-monitoring AI

In a recent LinkedIn post, Drako explained why he made the deal.

“I did an extensive search, with a goal to acquire the company with the most powerful AI-based enterprise security automation technology in our physical security industry. Cobalt’s AI technologies, including their monitoring and command center solutions, are years ahead — they will be one of the catalysts for a new era of security.

“Importantly, Cobalt’s open platform strategy, which integrates with a wide range of video and access control systems, aligns with the open product strategy I strongly believe in.

“I am working closely with Cobalt AI’s leadership team, as well as infusing significant capital, to quickly scale their ‘human verified AI’ technology across enterprise security applications.”

marketecture diagram of the cobalt ai features.

Cobalt AI is marketing “Human verified AI” to promote human-in-the loop methods of leveraging AI and human-based perception to monitor and interpret security information. | Credit: Dean Drako

“We are thrilled that Dean Drako has acquired Cobalt and will serve as chairman. Dean has invested capital and strategic insights to grow other physical security companies to unicorns and technology leaders in their space,” said Wolff. “We share a mutual vision of the tremendous advantages of automation through AI with human verification.  Drako’s acquisition validates our strategy to improve monitoring, response times and lower costs and also gives us the capital to deliver for our enterprise clients.”

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