Foxglove Raises $3.7M to Build Better Developer Tools For Robotics

Bringing robotics data management, visualization, & debugging into the 21st century

Adrian MacneilAdrian Macneil ·
3 min read
Published

Developing and debugging robots today can be difficult, manual, and painfully time-consuming. At Foxglove, we’re on a mission to accelerate robotics development by bringing powerfully flexible, user-extensible, and fully integrated developer tools to the industry.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Foxglove has raised $3.7M in seed funding led by Amplify Partners. These funds will help our team make valuable progress towards our long-term mission – accelerating development for all the potentially world-changing robotics projects out in the wild today.

We think the future of robotics development tools is exciting uncharted territory – and our colleagues in the industry agree. We’re privileged to have had many experienced visionaries and operators participate in this round, including Kyle Vogt (CTO, Cruise), Dr. Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley), Adam Draper (Boost VC), Ryan Gembala (Pathbreaker), Karri Saarinen (CEO, Linear), Fred Ehrsam, Olaf Carlson-Wee, Linda Xie, and Daniel Romero.

“Developer productivity at Cruise is critical to enabling our progress towards a driverless future. I’m excited to see Foxglove help the next generation of robotics startups bring innovative products to market faster.”

- Kyle Vogt, Co-founder & CTO, Cruise

Our journey so far

While leading Infrastructure at Cruise, I was struck by the lack of off-the-shelf tooling available for robotics and autonomous vehicle development – commercial or open source. We were forced to develop nearly all of our tooling in-house, including systems for visualization, data management, AI/ML, simulation, fleet management, and remote assistance. Building these systems took hundreds of person-years of engineering effort, and I realized that there was no reason modern robotics and autonomous vehicle companies should need to solve these same problems over and over again.

Roman and I founded Foxglove because we strongly believe the robotics industry will not reach its full potential until high quality off-the-shelf solutions are available - freeing up roboticists to focus on their complex domain-specific challenges.

Our first product, Foxglove Studio, is an open source visualization and debugging platform – an IDE for robotics. Foxglove Studio began as a fork of Webviz (an open source project many of our team worked on at Cruise). Since launching, we’ve added many new features including ROS 2 support, more visualization panels, performance improvements, and a new extension API.

“Foxglove has helped streamline our development efforts, providing an integrated visualization and debugging solution for our NVIDIA DRIVE autonomous vehicle platform. With Foxglove, we’re able to visualize vehicle data, design custom layouts from common workflows, and integrate with our data lake for faster browser-based debugging.”

- Nicolas Koumchatzky, Senior Director of AI Infrastructure, NVIDIA

studio

What’s next

We’re continuing to invest in Foxglove Studio and expand our core open source offering with support for more robotics frameworks, additional visualizations, and a more powerful extension API. We also recently announced the Foxglove Data Platform – bringing us one step closer towards a seamless end-to-end robotics development experience.

Foxglove Data Platform is a solution to your organization’s robotics data management needs. We heard from leading robotics companies that efficiently managing their data was challenging, and that existing solutions were not useful for managing the large volumes of heterogeneous data typical in robotics – leading many companies to resort to passing external hard drives around the office as their primary means of collaboration. We’ve designed Foxglove Data Platform to be a one-stop shop for storing and exploring your data, allowing you to tag events of interest, instantly visualize that data in Foxglove Studio, and automatically delete data when it is no longer needed.

data platform

Follow our journey

This investment will allow us to continue our vision of Foxglove’s end-to-end robotics development platform. We plan to expand our extensions API, add support for additional robotics frameworks, and launch some exciting new features in the Foxglove Data Platform.

Robotics data should be easy to find, explore, and understand, and managing this data well is critical to iterating quickly on your robots. Instead of spending hours sifting through terabytes or petabytes of data, Foxglove’s convenient web interface allows you to organize, search, and visualize your data more intelligently. And instead of using external hard drives to share data with your teammates, you can search one central repository of your shared data.

With the generous support of our investors, Foxglove’s goal is to make robotics development as seamlessly integrated as possible, from ingesting and storing data to visualizing and gathering actionable insights from it. We’re excited to see where this journey takes us – join our community and help us shape the future of robotics development tooling.


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