Clearpath Robotics, the Waterloo Region company that grabbed headlines last summer by refusing to make killer robots, made two significant announcements today: its first self-driving robot for industry, named OTTO, and a strategic partnership with General Electric (GE).

Clearpath moved into the industrial market in March after it raised a C$14-million Series A investment round, and OTTO is its first major achievement in this space. OTTO can transport a 3,300-lb. load around a factory floor at 4.5 mph, finding a path optimized for efficiency while intelligently avoiding collisions. Using the same underlying technology as the Google self-driving car, OTTO was designed to help factories and warehouses boost efficiency, stay responsive and reconfigure on the fly.

“Traditional automation is saturating,” Matt Rendall, Clearpath CEO and co-founder, said today in a press release. “What about the more complex tasks too difficult or expensive to automate? We created OTTO to reinvent material transport and give North American manufacturers a new edge.”

It’s an edge they could use. Traditional warehouses and factories in North America have been slow to join the technological revolution, relying on expensive, rigid infrastructure (like elaborate systems of conveyor belts) to move things around. Installing one of these systems is an expensive proposition and, once finished, it’s nearly impossible to customize for a changing environment.

Clearpath hopes to solve this problem by making OTTO smart enough to adapt to any industrial environment.

For Clearpath, meeting this ambitious goal meant teaming up with American technology giant GE. The companies have been collaborating since 2013 on service robot development. Along with an undisclosed investment from GE Ventures, GE will be one of Clearpath’s first OTTO customers.

“GE is one of the world’s most powerful and innovative brands,” said Rendall. “We are honoured to partner with GE and we look forward to shaping the industry with them.”