igus goes gamification: Mit dem Online-Spiel igumania werden motion plastics noch erlebbarer

Als Produktionsleiter einer eigenen Mars Rover-Fabrik kann nun jeder spielerisch in die Welt der motion plastics von igus eintauchen

Köln, 20. Juli 2022 – Ungeplante Wartungszeiten und Produktions­stillstände gehören zu den größten Gegnern für Industrieunternehmen. Der motion plastics Spezialist igus bietet nun jedem die Möglichkeit, selbst zum Produktionsleiter zu werden und sich dieser Herausforderung zu stellen – mit dem Online-Browser-Spiel igumania. Das Idle-Game wurde mithilfe der Spiele-Plattform Unity entwickelt und ermöglicht Spielern, in die Welt der motion plastics einzutauchen. Durch den Einbau von igus Produkten können die Wartungszeiten der Produktion reduziert werden, damit Maschinenstillstände auch im Spiel der Vergangenheit angehören. Das Unternehmensziel von igus ist auch Ziel des Spiels: Verbessern, was sich bewegt.

Als frisch gebackener Produktionsleiter einer Mars-Rover-Fabrik gegen die vielen ungeplanten Wartungen und Anlagenstillstände in der Produktion ankämpfen. Dieses Szenario erwartet Spieler im Online-Spiel igumania. Unterstützung erhält man von Rusty, dem treuen Roboter-Assistenten, und Dave, dem igus Mitarbeiter aus dem technischen Vertrieb, dessen Besuch der Startschuss für die gemeinsame Erfolgsstory mit motion plastics ist. Im Laufe des Spiels können verschiedene igus Produkte verbaut werden: iglidur Gleitlager, Energieketten, flexible chainflex Leitungen, drylin Linear- und Antriebstechnik und sogar komplette Low-Cost- Automation-Lösungen wie der ReBeL Serviceroboter. Am Anfang stehen jedoch noch nicht alle motion plastics Lösungen zur Verfügung. Diese können im Spielverlauf über den Technologiebaum des igus Labors freigeschaltet werden. Auch die real-virtuelle igus motion plastics show (IMPS) können Spieler als Ingame-Messe erleben und so noch mehr über die motion plastics Produkte erfahren. Durch das Erfüllen verschiedener Aufgaben können weitere Perks bzw. Vorteile und Produkte freigeschaltet werden – ob e-ketten Recycling, Erweiterung der Montagelinie, Beschleunigung des Fließbandes, oder der Einsatz von smart plastics für die automatische Wartung der eingesetzten Roboter.

Gamification-Ansatz für mehr Nutzerfreundlichkeit

Aber warum ein eigenes igus Spiel? „Entstanden ist die Idee aus der Überlegung, wie wir unsere Produkte aus Hochleistungskunststoffen und ihre Alleinstellungsmerkmale noch erlebbarer machen können – und das auf ganz einfachem und spielerischem Weg“, erklärt igus Geschäftsführer Frank Blase. igus folgt dabei dem Prinzip des „Serious Gaming“: Das Online-Spiel soll nicht nur unterhalten, sondern spielerisch Wissenslücken schließen und die Vorteile der igus Hochleistungskunststoffe vermitteln. „Wir haben ein gutes Knowhow im Software-Bereich und bieten bereits jetzt zahlreiche Online-Tools an – vom Produkt-Lebensdauerrechner über den 3D-Druck-Service bis hin zum Konfigurator für Portalroboter. Hier setzen wir bereits auf den Gamification-Ansatz, indem wir zum Beispiel auch für unseren Konfigurator für Portalroboter die Plattform von Unity nutzen, um so eine spielend leichte Bedienbarkeit zu ermöglichen. Diesen Ansatz wollen wir weiterentwickeln und unser gesamtes Online-Angebot künftig noch spielerischer und nutzerfreundlicher gestalten. Ein eigenes Online-Spiel bietet die optimale Möglichkeit, wertvolle Erfahrungen im Bereich Gamification zu sammeln.“

Spielentwicklung: Vom Studentenprojekt zur Unternehmensgründung

Für die Entwicklung eines eigenen Online-Spiels hat sich igus das Cologne Game Lab an seine Seite geholt – ein Institut an der Technischen Hochschule Köln, dessen Studentenprojekte unter anderem bereits mit dem Deutschen Computerspielpreis ausgezeichnet wurden. Im Rahmen eines eigenen igus Studentenprojekts haben sich 10 Studententeams der Herausforderung gestellt. Die Aufgabe: Innerhalb einer Woche ein Konzept für ein igus Spiel zu entwickeln. Gewonnen hat das Konzept für „igumania“ und das Gewinner-Team bekam den Zuschlag für die Entwicklung des Spiels. Das Besondere: Aus dem Studentenprojekt wurde eine Unternehmensidee, und so gründeten Arkadijs Gribacovs, Ethem Kurt und Leonard Liebler die elads gbR für Spieleentwicklung. „In Deutschland gibt es nach wie vor verhältnismäßig wenig Unternehmer. Dass wir mit unserer Idee den Unternehmergeist junger Talente wecken und den Anstoß für eine Unternehmensgründung geben konnten, freut uns umso mehr“, macht Frank Blase deutlich. Und die Entwicklung von igumania läuft weiter: Nachdem erste Erfahrungswerte gesammelt und Optimierungen umgesetzt wurden, ist auch der Launch einer App-Version für Android und iOS geplant.

Neugierig? Melden Sie sich hier an, um den Link zum Spiel sowie Neuigkeiten zu Spiel-Updates zu erhalten: https://www.igus.de/igumania-anmeldung

Cross Company Announces Partnership with Doosan Robotics

GASTONIA, N.C. (PRWEB) JULY 12, 2022

Cross Company, a 100% employee-owned industrial technology company announced this week that they are partnering with Doosan Robotics Americas to bring their collaborative robot (cobot) technology to the Southeastern United States. Doosan Robotics was founded in South Korea in 2015 and following three years of research and development they developed a range of four cobot models that use their proprietary technology. With the launch of six additional cobot models in 2020, Doosan now offers the most diversified line of collaborative robots on the market. Their product line includes robots with a load capacity of 11-55 lbs, a working radius of 35-67 inches, and unique collision detection technology for enhanced safety. Doosan Robotics is currently in the top five robotics distributors in the world and the number one manufacturer in South Korea.

Doosan H Series Cobot

“We are so excited for the opportunity to offer Doosan collaborative robots to our customers! We believe that their outstanding technology, superior quality, advanced safety features, and diverse product offerings, will enable Cross to implement the perfect collaborative solution for our customers– even in applications that were previously incompatible with cobots,” remarked Lynn Crump, Group President for Cross Automation.

Cross Automation serves customers nationwide but will be specifically representing Doosan Robotics in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alabama. In addition to being a distributor, Cross will be a nationally certified integrator of Doosan collaborative robots as well as a factory-certified service center.

Crump went on to say, “By supporting customers with integration services as well as repair and maintenance, we will offer a unique level of after-sales support that is not otherwise available in the United States for Doosan Robotics. Our partnership with Doosan will boost our ability to implement solutions for our customers to combat the ongoing labor shortage by automating manual processes.”

“It was an easy decision to partner with Cross Company, given their long and successful track record in the automation industry and cobot sphere,” said Alex Lee, General Manager for Doosan Robotics Americas. “Cross Company’s strong technical capabilities, robust array of system solutions, and vast distribution network lend immeasurable value as Doosan Robotics Americas continues to expand into the U.S. market. We are beyond excited to collaborate with such an experienced organization.”

About Cross Company

Cross Company is a 100% employee-owned industrial solutions company that is innovating the industrial world, one customer at a time. The company was founded in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1954 and has over 650 associates and 20 locations throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Cross specializes in robotics and machine automation, industrial measurement and calibration, process flow and safety technologies, process control integration, industrial and hydraulic hoses & fittings, and as an original equipment supplier in the mobile vehicle systems integration industry. Cross Company’s corporate headquarters remain in Greensboro, NC and it has major facilities in Knoxville, TN, Gastonia, NC, Whitsett, NC, and Oklahoma City, OK.

About Doosan Robotics

Doosan Robotics, founded in 2015 by Doosan Group, creates technology for the next generation of manufacturing. Established in 1896, the group has 25 affiliates and 114 global entities worldwide, generating a revenue of USD 15 billion in 2020. More information about Doosan Robotics is available at https://www.doosanrobotics.com/en/.

57% of Manufacturers Say Robots Aren’t Taking Human Jobs

Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook finds that human-robot collaboration has risen for 6 out of 10 manufacturers in the last year, as facilities turn to automation to supplement workers

WALTHAM, MASS. (PRWEB) JULY 12, 2022

57% of global manufacturers believe that robots are not replacing human workers in their facilities, but rather working alongside humans to supplement their work. This is one of the significant findings from Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook, released today by the industrial automation company that created FreeMove®, a comprehensive 3D safeguarding system for industrial robots that powers dynamic human-robot collaboration.

The Outlook also found that 61% of manufacturers say that human-robot interaction within their facilities has increased over the last year. The data point highlights how humans increasingly work alongside robot co-workers post-pandemic as manufacturers grapple with inflation, ongoing supply chain issues, and unprecedented labor shortages. Nearly all manufacturers are looking to automate more operations, including turning to robots to handle mundane, repetitive, or overly risky tasks.

With North American robot purchases reaching a record high in 2021, and global sales expected to increase to $31B by 2028, Veo Robotics surveyed more than 500 manufacturers across the US, UK, and Japan to inform the Outlook and explore how these organizations are integrating robots into their workforce, as well as the resulting impacts on facilities and their human workers. As speculation about the effect of robots on local jobs markets continues to contribute to mixed public opinion, Veo Robotics’ data suggests most manufacturing professionals do not believe that their jobs are at risk due to the increased adoption of robots.

“Our findings highlight that the majority of manufacturers are increasing automation with the goal of robots working alongside human co-workers rather than directly replacing them,” said Patrick Sobalvarro, CEO and co-founder of Veo Robotics. “We find that using robots increases the productivity and the value of human workers, freeing them to use their intelligence, judgment, and dexterity in their work.”

The rise in interactions between human and machine co-workers also necessitates new safeguarding methods that don’t hinder productivity. Although 63% of manufacturers told Veo Robotics that they were at least “moderately satisfied” with their safety when interacting with robots, most (41%) say they keep their robots in fully-fenced, caged environments to prevent injury or harm to human workers. This reliance on fully caged robots often hinders modern manufacturing facilities’ speed, efficiency, and flexibility.

In fact, 44% of manufacturers note that their workers need to enter workcells at least every 1-2 hours, making it unsurprising that 63% also report that their current workcell safeguarding solutions pose challenges in the form of limiting flexibility, increasing human workloads, constraining space, and slowing down production time.

Additional highlights from Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook include:

  • Over 55% of manufacturers report having ten or more robots in their facilities, with nearly one in three (32%) saying they have 30 or more
  • 81% of manufacturers said they deal with robot-led production shutdowns
  • More than a fifth of respondents said that nuisance faults with their current robot workcell safeguarding methods cause production to shut down at least every couple of hours
  • As inflation hits manufacturers, 33% of respondents noted that “reducing the cost and complexity of manufacturing” was one of their biggest challenges over the next six months to a year
  • Other manufacturers noted that supply chain constraints (34%) and hiring and training of skilled workers (37%) were still their biggest problems

“Innovation being embraced within industrial processes is a great sign. But as the machine workforce evolves, so must the work environment,“ added Sobalvarro. “Modern manufacturing facilities and warehouses do not have the time to halt production in every situation where a human worker needs to enter a cage. A much more efficient and flexible safeguarding method is Speed & Separation Monitoring (SSM), which enables workers to interact safely with robots without entering the caged work environment. With SSM, manufacturers can prioritize safety and productivity without sacrificing one for the other.”

Read the full Veo Robotics 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook here.

About Veo Robotics

Veo Robotics is an industrial automation company building comprehensive sensing and intelligence for robots to collaborate with humans safely. It is the creator of FreeMove®, a comprehensive 3D safeguarding system for industrial robots that powers dynamic human-robot interactions. FreeMove enables fluid, efficient, and flexible production lines. Veo currently partners with the world’s four major robot manufacturers FANUC, Yaskawa, ABB, and Kuka. To learn more, please visit http://www.veobot.com.

4M Green Science Eco Engineering Motorised Box Robot

4M Green Science Eco Engineering Motorised Box Robot. Find the latest News on robots, drones, AI, robotic toys and gadgets at robots-blog.com. If you want to see your product featured on our Blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or our other sites, contact us. #robots #robot #omgrobots #roboter #robotic #mycollection #collector #robotsblog #collection #botsofinstagram #bot #robotics #robotik #gadget #gadgets #toy #toys #drone #robotsofinstagram #instabots #photooftheday #picoftheday #followforfollow #instadaily #werbung #4m #green #science #box #cardboard #motorised

NUWA Introduces RobotCreator DX, A Fully Customizable AI Robot From Inside Out

RobotCreator DX offers intuitive software interfaces to make customization and interaction with the robot unintimidating for beginners and advanced users alike.

Taipei, Taiwan, 07 July, 2022 – NUWA announced on Kickstarter, the all-new RobotCreator DX, a highly customizable AI robot companion designed for users of all levels of skills. 

Featuring numerous web-based editing software and a wide array of sensors, RobotCreator DX can be programmed to perform complicated tasks including voice recognition, video calls, interactive games, and many more.

Thanks to the advanced RoFlow Workflow interface, users can effortlessly program the robot to perform various tasks without prior coding knowledge. On the other hand, Trainkit allows users to train DX to chat and respond with physical motions, images or videos.

Notable features include: 

  • Roflow: A powerful cloud-based visual programming software that allows users to easily customize the robot’s behavior. Users can tap into the vast resources and functions of the robot without prior programming skills.
  • CodeLab: An easy-to-use coding center for RobotCreator DX. CodeLab can be accessed from computers, mobile devices, or the DX itself. Natively supports MQTT, CodeLab allows for cross-device control and connection.
  • Content Editor: A timeline-based motion editing software designed to program the robot to perform sophisticated movements with its built-in expression and movement library. 
  • Trainkit: A chatbot dialogue design tool with fuzzy language matching. Trainkit allows users to add body movement, as well as images or videos to the response.
  • Quiz Editor: Quiz Editor allows users to design and create interactive games where the fun never ends. Interaction can be made using the integrated touch and audio sensors.
  • Skin Editor: A web-based editing software that allows users to create dynamic facial expressions for RobotCreator DX. Users can utilize the built-in templates or create their own with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
  • MakerBase: As one of the pillars of the NUWA platform, users can connect with DX fans across the world and share resources like the code, design, and more.

RobotCreator DX Pricing and Availability

Early Bird pledges for RobotCreator DX are now available for a limited amount on Kickstarter for $599, which is more than 40% off the future retail price. 

For the complete list of all available backing options and more product details, jump over to the official RobotCreator DX crowdfunding campaign page by clicking the link below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robotcreator-dx/robot-creator-dx-build-design-and-program-your-way

About NUWA

Founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 2016, NUWA Robotics has extensive experience in AI, software/hardware development, interactive content, and mass production. We have experts across different fields to design and create a robot that can establish a deeper connection with humans. NUWA envisions a world where everyone has a robot companion that provides beyond just responses to commands, but one that can support emotional needs.

Kickstarter Campaign Announced for RoboDriveWheel: The fully integrated wheel for mobile robots

NAPLES, ITALY — S4E Robotics is pleased to announce the launch of a Kickstarter campaign that will allow the public to meet RoboDriveWheel: the fully integrated wheel for mobile robots. RoboDriveWheel is a new fully integrated motorized wheel designed specifically for the development of a new generation of safe and versatile service mobile robots. 

“We believe RoboDriveWheel can help all robotics designers but also enthusiast and hobbyist to create powerful and smart mobile robots with little effort and reducing cost and time” says Andrea Fontanelli inventor of RoboDriveWheel. “This Kickstarter campaign, to rise 43359€, will help us optimize the production process, manufacture our units and finalize our packaging components”. 

RoboDroveWheel integrates Inside a Continental rubber with strong adhesion a powerful brushless motor, a high-efficiency planetary gearbox and a control board implementing state-of-the-art algorithms for torque and velocity control. Robodrivewheel can also detect impacts and collisions thanks to the combined use of torque, acceleration and inclination measurement obtained from the sensors integrated into the control board. 

“RoboDriveWheel is the ideal solution for anyone who wants to build a mobile robot with little effort but which integrates the most modern technologies.” says Roberto Iorio CFO of S4E Robotics. RoboDriveWheel is being produced by S4E Robotics, a company that specialised in industrial automation and robotics. They have designed and produced mobile robots such as ENDRIU: The compact and modular mobile robot for sanitization. The process of designing mobile service robots is highly time-consuming. A service robotic drive wheel must be compact, have good traction friction, must be powerful but fast enough to move the robot at a speed comparable to human speed. 

Moreover, a robotic wheel must include all the functionalities, sensors, and electronics. Finally, a service robot must work close to humans so the robot should be capable to identify efficiently the interaction with the environment. Usually, all these capabilities require different components: the wheel, the shaft, one or more bearings with the housing, a traction system (pulley and belt), a motor with a reducer and encoder an IMU and the electronics with several cables for all the sensors. 

RoboDriveWheel integrates all these functions inside the wheel and it is easy to connect and control through the single cable for power supply and can-bus communication, a protocol used for years in the automotive sector. 
To learn more about Kickstarter and supporting RoboDriveWheel’s 43359€ campaign, please visit
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andreafontanelli/robodrivewheel

See RoboDriveWheel in action in our promoting video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4SOgimqY6U 

uEye XC closes the market gap between industrial camera and webcam

New 13 MP autofocus camera from IDS

Unlike webcams from the consumer sector, uEye XC is specially designed for industrial requirements. Its components score with long availability – a must for industrial applications. It is used, for example, in kiosk systems, logistics, in the medical sector and in robotics applications.

Thanks to the integrated autofocus module, the Vision standard-compliant USB3 camera can easily manage changing object distances. In terms of appearance, it is distinguished by its elegant and lightweight magnesium housing. With dimensions of only 32 x 61 x 19 mm (W x H x D) and screwable USB Micro B connection, the camera can be easily integrated into image processing systems. Its 13 MP onsemi sensor delivers 20 fps at full resolution and ensures high image quality even in changing light conditions thanks to BSI (“Back Side Illumination”) pixel technology. Useful functions such as 24x digital zoom, auto white balance and colour correction ensure that all details can be captured perfectly. With the IDS peak software development kit, users can configure the camera specifically for their application if required.

From process and quality assurance to kiosk systems, logistics automation and medical technology: the autofocus camera can be used in a variety of ways in both industrial and non-industrial areas. With the quick-change macro attachment lens, users can easily shorten the minimum object distance of the camera. This makes it also suitable for close-up applications, such as diagnostics.

Learn more: https://en.ids-imaging.com/ueye-xc-autofocus-camera.html

Robots as a Service (RaaS) – everything you need to know

Robots as a Service (RaaS) has become popular in the last couple of years mainly because it is much cheaper for a business to hire a robot for a specific project than to buy one that it may not fully utilize in the long run. For purpose of efficiency and effectiveness, most robot arms are usually designed to do a particular task, such as moving items from one position to another.

Besides costs, there are several other advantages of RaaS over buying an in-house robot. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about RaaS, including its benefits and the different types of robots that you can hire.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

What is Robots as a Service?

It is a service that involves hiring robots to organizations that would like to use robots but do not have the expertise or in-house recourses to procure and maintain these robots. There are several types of robots that organizations can hire depending on the task at hand. Some of the popular options include robot arms, cobots, and universal robots.

Robot arms are designed with almost the same functionality as a human arm. Their core task is to handle and move things from one position to another. A cobot or collaborative robot is designed to work hand in hand with humans. Universal robots are more versatile robot arms that can do more tasks than the standard robot arms.

Use cases of RaaS

  1. Temporary warehouse operations: If you have a temporary project that involves operating a warehouse, it is much wiser to hire robots than buy them. Robots are more efficient and less costly to maintain than humans. However, you could also use cobots that work with humans to handle different warehouse operations.
  2. Security for structures under construction: You can use robots to do the 360o  surveillance of facilities under construction. Robots capture useful real-time information that can be sent to AI algorithms for further interpretation.
Photo by Testalize.me on Unsplash

Benefits of RaaS

  • Lower costs of entry: small businesses that don’t have the money to buy robots can take advantage of RaaS by hiring robots for handling specific projects that humans may not be effective and efficient at.
  • Increased scalability: Businesses can quickly scale up their automation operations using some of the cutting-edge robotic technologies without incurring high upfront costs and the risk of asset deterioration or obsolescence.
  • Businesses no longer need robotic experts: With RaaS, small businesses can hire robots without having to recruit robotics professionals. Most of the configurations are done on the cloud by the RaaS provider. This further lowers the barrier of entry for getting into the automation space.

Final thoughts

If your business operations involve tasks that can be done by robot arms, cobots, or universal robots, using RaaS is the easiest way to get started. The good news is that you can hire cobots from Bots.co.uk for as low as £65 a day. Considering how much work these robots can do in a day, £65 is a worthy investment if your business has enough operations that need to be automated.

Block-based Editor: Create Vision Apps without programming knowledge

New IDS NXT software release themed “App your camera!”

The current software release 2.6 for the AI vision system IDS NXT focuses primarily on simplifying app creation. The initial phase in development is often one of the greatest challenges in the realisation of a project. With the help of the new Application Assistant in IDS NXT lighthouse, users configure a complete vision app under guidance in just a few steps, which they can then run directly on an IDS NXT camera. With the Block-based Editor, which is also new, users can configure their own program sequences with AI image processing functions, such as object recognition or classification, without any programming knowledge. Users create simple sequences in a few minutes with this visual code editor without having to know the syntax of a specific programming language.

With the Use Case Assistant, IDS supports users in creating Vision App projects. They simply select the use case that fits their project. With queries and tips, the assistant guides them through the process of creating the Vision App project and creates the code, just like in an interview. It links existing training projects with the vision app project or creates new training projects and data sets in IDS NXT lighthouse if required.

With the combinable blocks and the intuitive user interface of the Block-based Editor, anyone can realise their own projects using AI-based image processing (such as object detection or classification) as an individual vision app without having to know the syntax of a specific programming language. Using the predefined blocks of the code editor, users build their vision app graphically, including processes such as loops and conditional statements. How this works is demonstrated, for example, in the IDS Vision Channel (www.ids-vision-channel.tech). The session “Build AI vision apps without coding – xciting new easyness” is available for viewing as a recording.

IDS NXT is a comprehensive system with a wide range of workflows and tools for realising your own AI vision applications. The intelligent IDS NXT cameras can process tasks “OnDevice” and deliver image processing results themselves. The tasks of the cameras are determined by apps that are uploaded to the cameras and executed there. Their functionality can thus be changed at any time. This is supported by software such as IDS NXT lighthouse, with which users can not only train neural networks, but now also create their own vision apps. The system offers both beginners and professionals enormous scope for designing AI vision apps.
Learn more: www.ids-nxt.com

Festo and MassRobotics are Leading the Global Nurturing of Healthcare Robotics Innovation

The Festo-MassRobotics Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program celebrates the milestones achieved by the program’s four selected global startups at the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum. Key life sciences and robotics speakers to lead the event.

The successful Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program came to an end on April 7th, 2022. The concluding ceremony will be held at the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, on May 11, 2022. The event includes an impressive line-up of speakers: ​​Fady Saad, Co-founder & Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at MassRobotics; Alfons Riek, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Festo; Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & Chief Operating Officer at MassBio; Kenn Turner, President and CEO at Mass Life Sciences Center; and Brian Johnson, President at MassMedic. All four selected startup companies, Kinarm (Canada), Assistive Technology Development Inc. (United States), Eureka Robotics (Singapore), and Bionomous (Switzerland ) will, in turn, promote their companies, along with their products and service offerings. They will also be demonstrating their technologies on the event’s expo floor.

In October 2021, MassRobotics, Festo, and other key players in healthcare robotics, launched a Startup Catalyst Program to advance healthcare robotics companies around the world, by providing the networking opportunities, guidance, and resources they need to grow and succeed. The aim of the program was to connect healthcare robotics startups with customers, investors, suppliers, marketing, and overall support. The program focused on startups in the areas of clinical care, public safety, laboratory, supply chain automation, out-of-hospital care, quality of life, as well as continuity of work and education, and training and support for healthcare professionals.

More than 30 companies applied from all over the world, and the selection committee invited four to join in the program. The participating startups completed impressive milestones, as detailed below:

  • Eureka Robotics develops and commercializes cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to automate high-accuracy, high-agility tasks. Eureka is currently completing fundraising rounds in Japan through connections provided by program mentors. Eureka was introduced to MassRobotics partner, Mitsubishi Electric, and signed a global partnership with Mitsubishi as a platinum partner. The program helped the company’s leadership to explore attractive applications in surgical lenses manufacturing technology, which is an extension to its focus on traditional manufacturing.
  • Bionomous provides laboratory equipment to automate the screening, sorting, and pipetting of miniature biological entities for more ethical and faster research in life science. CEO Frank Bonnet reports that with the aid of the Catalyst Program, Bionomous was able to run a pilot program in the US, leading to the company’s first sales outside Europe. This convinced Bionomous to expand into the US market and set up offices in the MassRobotics space in Boston. Bonnet emphasized the importance of the program’s mentors, who connected them to key industry leaders to open possibilities for future partnerships.
  • Assistive Technology Development Inc. is an American startup dedicated to at-home physical therapy solutions that are operable at a low cost and always accessible to rural patients and those who need closer monitoring for recovery. The company came into the program with three goals: 1) begin its first pilot study in a clinical setting; 2) downsize the actuation unit to a wearable form, and 3) raise capital. CEO Todd Roberts reports that with help from the program, the company has completed the first two milestones and is making progress on the third. It will begin phase I of a pilot study with UCHealth, a not-for-profit health care system, headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, on April 25th, allowing the company to present preliminary results at the keynote event at the Healthcare Conference. The study will assess the early clinical efficacy and collect patient and clinician feedback. Assistive’s actuation unit has been downsized by 70%, from a large, wall-powered, benchtop system to a wearable, battery-powered system that will enable the company to complete the pilot. Finally, Assistive is in the process of raising capital and has begun diligence with two firms.
  • Kinarm uses robotic arms to provide an objective assessment method to identify, measure, and track cognitive motor or sensory impairments resulting from injury or disease. Kinarm worked with assigned mentors from the robotics ecosystem who provided introductions to industry leaders who responded with “jaw-dropping, you-can-do-that?” exclamations, reports ​​Anne Vivian-Scott, CEO. Vivian-Scott was also introduced to experienced healthcare robotics leaders who will collaboratively aid Kinarm as the company scales its solutions. Vivian-Scott adds, “What we gained was not specific knowledge that can be encoded into our product, but direction. Quite frankly, most other programs are not ‘sufficiently vested’ in the participant’s business/opportunity to be able to offer such feedback.”

“I am grateful to Festo’s pioneering work to support our efforts to find global disrupting applications and startups in such a human-care field like healthcare, including life science, biotech, and medical devices,” said Fady Saad of MassRobotics.

 “I am impressed with the quality of applications we received, and the unique structure of the program that allowed us to select such innovative companies and match them with world-class advisors,” said Festo’s Alfons Riek. “Certainly, we are excited about the  networking opportunities opened to these companies and to presenting them to the world as great examples of the power of utilizing robotics in healthcare.”

MassRobotics, Festo, and additional corporations plan to launch the second version of the program by July 2022 to build on the programs’ amazing momentum and impact.

ABOUT MassRobotics: MassRobotics is the result of the collective work of a group of engineers, rocket scientists, and entrepreneurs with a shared vision to create an innovation hub and startup cluster focused on the needs of the robotics and IoT community. MassRobotics’ mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected devices companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative robotics/automation startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test, and commercialize their products and solutions. See www.massrobotics.org for details.

About Festo: Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo has set standards in industrial automation technology and technical education ever since its establishment, thereby making a contribution to the sustainable development of the environment, the economy, and society. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The LifeTech sector with medical technology and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly important. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,000 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €2.84 billion in 2020. Each year around 8 % of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.