The AI robot that could make paperless office a reality

Google has backed a radical AI robot that could finally make the paperless office a reality. 

Ripcord, founded by ex-NASA and Apple employees, has developed a unique robotic digitization system, and today revealed a $25m funding round led by Google Ventures.

It uses a combination of robotic scanners and AI to do everything from remove staples and scan images to automatically convert them into searchable text and upload them to a cloud server.

Scroll down to see the robot in action 

Co-founded by former Apple and NASA employees, Ripcord makes a radical robotic digitization system that uses AI to do everything from removing staples to scanning and shredding.

The firm’s robots can scan everything from business cards to huge architectural drawings.

‘We want to eliminate paper,’ Ripcord CEO Alex Fielding told 

Ripcord, which now has $74.5 million of funding, says it can automate 80% of the conversion process – which includes paper handling, fastener removing, and digital imaging. 

The machine takes stacks of paper, pulls out any staples and loads them one sheet at a time onto a conveyor belt for rapid scanning, up to one sheet a second. 

Ripcord is hoping to deploy hundreds of the giant devices in warehouses where hoppers of paper will be moved around by robots.

‘We’ve seen an explosion in demand for a solution that drags society from the paper era into a truly digital one,’ said Fielding.

‘Customers want both digitization and an easy-to-use platform that helps them manage their entire records repository, whether it is comprised of paper files or digital ones. 

‘However, building a simple platform is actually quite complex. 

‘By partnering with Google Ventures we can take advantage of their expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

‘We know their resources will be invaluable.’ 

The firm says it will be able to digitize 50M records a day next year, and claims it takes a human about 6-8 hours to digitize a single bankers box of records. 

A single Ripcord robot can complete digitization within 1-2 hours.   

‘Many companies, especially those that operate in regulated industries, still generate enormous volumes of paper, which is costly to store and cumbersome to manage,’ said GV General Partner Andy Wheeler. 


The Ripcord system can do everything from remove staples to scan and eletronically read paper at a rate of a sheet a second

The Ripcord system can do everything from remove staples to scan and eletronically read paper at a rate of a sheet a second

  • Humans unpack boxes and present the paper files to our robotic workcells
  • Robot identifies and removes fasteners
  • Scans images at high speed and high quality
  • Workcells have the intelligence to separate records into their logical groups
  • Apply optical character recognition to translate images into searchable text
  • Upload the documents to our cloud platform where we then provide great search
  • Hold the records and perform QA on them after they are scanned
  • Shred the documents and send the shredded documents to a paper mill for recycling


‘When Ripcord analyzed why more paper isn’t digitized, they found that the culprit is the high cost of scanning. 

‘The company set out to solve this problem by developing a highly automated way to scan large amounts of documents, and creating a modern, easy-to-use enterprise cloud management application.’