The Engine invests in RISE Robotics

RISE Robotics Raises $3 Million in Additional Funding to Drive Forward the Electrification and Sustainability of Heavy Machinery 

The Engine investment supports RISE Robotics’ development of electric and mechanical systems that displace hydraulics and reduce energy consumption.

SOMERVILLE, MA. — RISE Robotics, a leader in high-performance and cost effective electric linear actuation solutions, today announced it has raised $3 million in additional funding. The funding round was led by The Engine, the venture firm spun  out of MIT that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies that are solving the world’s most urgent problems, such as climate change, through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering, and leadership. 

RISE Robotics’ technology disrupts how linear actuators are engineered and makes the shift from diesel to electric systems possible, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible. Linear actuators create the push-and-pull movements in the mechanisms of heavy machinery which are essential for lifting and loading materials across many industries, including: construction, agriculture, and waste management. Without linear actuators excavators couldn’t dig, garbage trucks couldn’t crush, and forklifts couldn’t lift.

The majority of heavy machines today rely on hydraulic systems, powered by diesel, to enable motion. It is the most essential, but also the most wasteful component in the overall motion system, producing an estimated 55 million tons of CO2 annually in the U.S. alone according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As OEMs are forced to adapt their products to comply with imminent emissions regulations, the industry has struggled with the slow pace of innovation and high cost of using electricity as a power source for heavy machinery. 

“Hybrid and electric retrofits to existing hydraulic systems are more expensive than the existing diesel systems and are much harder to control. Hydraulics are slowing and literally weighing down the adoption of electrically powered heavy machines,” said Arron Acosta, CEO and Co-founder of RISE Robotics. “The RISE platform offers a completely new mechanical motion technology that makes electric-powered motor-to-movement solutions possible. It’s a game changer for any manufacturer trying to electrify its heavy machinery.” 

The additional funding will support RISE Robotics’ work with a leading forklift manufacturer to accelerate the electrification of its machinery, increasing the performance of the manufacturer’s existing electric forklifts and enabling the electrification of its larger scale machinery, which is currently diesel-fueled.

Reed Sturtevant, a General Partner of The Engine, and angel investor Walter A. Winshall will join RISE Robotics’ Board of Directors.

“It takes a lot to make a machine move. Displacing hydraulics is just the first application of RISE Robotics’ IP for improving motion and electrifying heavy machinery. Their research, approach and systems will be crucial in evolving how other key mechanical components work, but most importantly these innovations to the fundamentals of how machinery moves will lead the industry toward not just compliance with emissions standards but helping heavy machinery become an oil-free, zero emissions industry in the future,” said Sturtevant.

RISE Robotics’ co-founders Arron Acosta and Blake Sessions met while at MIT and formed the company with Toomas Sepp and Kyle Dell’Aquila.  The company was part of the Techstars accelerator and has received angel funding from notable Boston investors and advisors including John P. Strauss, William J. Warner, and Walter A. Winshall.  RISE Robotics has two commercial agreements, one with a major manufacturer of lifting machinery, and another with the U.S. Air Force. 


RISE Robotics is the leader in high-performance and cost effective electric linear actuation solutions. RISE helps designers embrace high-efficiency, fuel saving actuation solutions that compete with hydraulic cylinders. Designed for medium and heavy duty applications, the RISE Cylinder provides fuel and emissions reductions, improves productivity and extends machine life. Find RISE online: 



RISE Robotics


The Engine

Kerry Walker

Head of Communications