Baidu has provided Robot++ with pre-series A funding following an angel round backed by a Tsinghua incubator in April 2018.

Robot++, a China-based wall-mounting robot developer backed by Tsinghua University Science Park’s incubator TusStar, has obtained RMB20m ($2.9m) in a pre-series A round led by Baidu Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of internet group Baidu, China Money Network reported on Thursday.

The deal featured participation from investors including Panda Capital. It valued Robot++ at $17.4m.

Founded in 2015, Robot++ manufactures artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robots that surmount walls to work at heights performing tasks including ship derusting, chemical spraying and wind farm maintenance.

The robots reportedly move at a speed of 10 metres per minute and have half the composite cost of employing equivalent manual labour. Robot++ will use the funding for a marketing drive and to support R&D on new products.

TusStar backed Robot++’s angel round of undisclosed size in April this year, investing alongside Panda Capital, Eagles Fund and undisclosed additional investors.

Liu Wei, CEO of Baidu Ventures, told 36kr: “With the development of AI technology, the intelligent robots’ capabilities in environment sensing, decision-making and task-handling will experience a rapid improvement.”

“The cost of producing such a robot will also be reduced drastically.”