Elementary Robotics, one of Los Angeles' top robotics startups, announced Tuesday it has raised $12.7 million in Series A funding to continue developing and deploying its automation products at scale.

Co-founded in 2017 by Bill Gross of Idealab and Arye Barnehama, a Pomona College dropout and former head of design at Daqri, the company says its mission is to assist people by "automating day-to-day repetitive tasks" but it adds cryptically on its website: "We can't detail too much about the technology because we're still in stealth mode."

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Wide-eyed and sweet, meet Moxie, the $1,500 robot for children.

The creators of the one-foot tall emotive machine want Moxie to become your child's newest companion. Geared toward autistic children, the company believes Moxie embodies "the very best of humanity" in a form of technology that fuels learning.

"What we are trying to do with this product is to amp up the benefit of social or, if you like, emotional intelligence," said its creator Paolo Pirjanian. "I want every child to be able to access this."

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Bill Gross wants to save the world.

The inventor, entrepreneur and founder of Pasadena-based IdeaLab, an incubator that has birthed more than 150 companies, is on a mission to make the world carbon free and upend the reliance on fossil fuels.

Gross, speaking to a crowd at the opening day of the eighth-annual Upfront Summit, created a slew of startups to help make the next generation safer in the face of carbon emissions and global warming. And his companies are attracting investments that will help develop alternative power sources and cleaner manufacturing.

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