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Cassie, a walking robot developed by Oregon State University spinoff company Agility Robotics, is demonstrated at an event in Portland in February 2017. 

An Oregon State University spinoff company that is developing two-legged robots for a variety of applications has raised $8 million in new investment funding.

Albany-based Agility Robotics announced Thursday that it had completed a Series A round of financing led by Playground Global, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund. Other investors include Sony Innovation Fund and Robotics Hub, which had previously invested in the company.

The investors will receive preferred stock in the company, and Playground Global co-founder Bruce Leak will join Agility’s board of directors.

The latest cash infusion brings total investment in Agility Robotics to just under $8.8 million and will jumpstart the next phase of the company’s growth, CEO Damion Shelton told the Gazette-Times.

“We’re looking at expanding pretty rapidly,” Shelton said, “and we’re also opening a second office in Pittsburgh, where I’m based.”

The company currently has 10 employees in Oregon and two in Pittsburgh. “We’ll at least double that,” Shelton said.

The Pittsburgh office will handle sales and applications engineering, while the Oregon office will focus on manufacturing, robot design and controls research.

“It’s basically leveraging the strengths of the two areas,” Shelton said.

Agility’s flagship product, nicknamed Cassie, is a two-legged robot that mimics the way humans walk. Based on technology developed at OSU’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory, Cassie is seen by the company as the precursor to a new class of walking robots that could be used for package delivery, in-home assistance, data collection and other applications that involve working with and around humans in the existing built environment.

Agility Robotics is headquartered in the Wheelhouse building in Albany along the Willamette riverfront at 421 Water Ave. NE.

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Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald