Tag: robotics

AIRLab Cleaning Bot Challenge

AIRLab is looking for partners with an existing solution or a concept close to production that can deliver a solution.

Focus Area

Robotics & AI

APPLY NOW

The world is facing challenging times. However, these are also the times that bright innovative minds can blossom and show their entrepreneurial agility and willpower. Will you be part of the people that will realize the next generation technology that creates safer and cleaner environments for people all over the world?

Ahold Delhaize’s AI for Retail (AIR) Lab is currently looking for innovative companies that are able to build an autonomous store cleaning solution. The urgency is there, what’s missing is the right innovation.

The AIRLab Delft is the joint industry lab of Ahold Delhaize and the TU Delft, driving innovations at the intersection of retail, AI and robotics. It recently opened a test site where researchers – supported by RoboValley and tech incubator YES!Delft – can work with partners, students and startups to build and test prototypes of robotic solutions. 

Looking for the cleaning solution of tomorrow

Supermarkets have their doors open from early morning until late in the evening to provide customers not only with the groceries they need, but also with a great shopping experience. Easy access, convenience and a wide assortment are all part of that experience. Hygiene is at the top of the priority list, too, especially in the time of COVID-19.

In supermarkets, floors are cleaned once a day before each store opens. It takes cleaning personnel an average of two hours every morning to sweep the floors for dirt, mop the hard-to-reach corners, and then go through the store with a ride-on floor scrubber. It is certainly both a time-consuming and labor-intensive activity. 

Ahold Delhaize’s AI for Retail (AIR) Lab is, thus, looking for a partner that can automate this process by creating an autonomous cleaning robot.

Who are we looking for?

Ahold Delhaize’s new partner in this endeavor can be any company that can provide the right solution – from early-stage startups to scale-ups and SMEs. To be considered for the program, candidates need to:

  • Have a motivated and ambitious team, with a minimum of two co-founders, available as of right now;
  • Have an existing prototype or MVP;
  • Have a solution that is scalable and leads to solving the AIRLab Cleaning Bot Challenge;
  • Be able to pitch their solution in English and/or Dutch.

Does that sound like a challenge for your company? If you are developing or already have a robotics-based cleaning solution, then we want to hear from you. Apply now and get a chance to win a pilot with Ahold Delhaize.

If you have a question about this challenge, please reach out to Thomas Roodenberg – Roodenberg.thomas@ahold.com
 

virtual reality VR

SenseGlove: The hand that lets you feel Virtual Reality

Technology is changing jobs faster than ever. Assembly training becomes an important aspect of many companies, but it is expensive and time consuming. However, there might be a solution that can solve those problems, virtual reality (VR).

VR combines the sense of hearing and seeing and gives the illusion of diving into every possible scenario. Yet, there is one missing aspect, not being able to feel what the eye sees. SenseGlove is solving that problem by bringing the sensing aspect into VR.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

It all started with a graduation project. Johannes Luijten was towards the end of his Master’s in Industrial Design at the TU Delft when he took on the task to create a robot that would help people recover after a stroke.

 “He created a big robot, a big exoskeleton that was capable of doing all the natural motions in the arm,” says Gijs den Butter, co-founder of SenseGlove. “From a technology point of view, it was a very interesting finding. The challenge was to translate the design into a feasible business.” This was the point when Gijs came onboard.

 The technology that Johannes had developed was innovative, yet too expensive to fit into a sole business case. A more realistic solution was, thus, to take just one element of the whole robot – in this case the hand – and develop it further.

Originally, Johannes and Gijs made it their goal to develop a glove specifically for people with hand and wrist problems to help them guide through physical therapy. 

THROUGH YES!DELFT

The two co-founders realised that they have an interesting idea with business potential  but getting the certification and hitting the market would take a long time. 

In 2015, they joined the YES!Delft Validation Lab to help them tackle that challenge and soon after, decided to broaden their scope. The team saw that there is a potential need in the VR market, but the change in business models meant that they had to completely redesign the glove.  

“The great thing about YES!Delft is that you have a lot of common-minded people around you,” Gijs says. “Being part of such a community makes it possible to exchange experiences and knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs.” 

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Getting to know their market better, Johannes and Gijs made another decision and this time to shift their focus completely away from medical tech to becoming a VR company.  

The change of business model was also partly due to the interest of car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) shown in SenseGlove. In 2016, they built their first demonstrator and presented it at the CEBIT conference a year later. That was where VW saw their glove and was interested in using it for their assembling training.

They shipped their first development kits less than two years after the company was founded. Their haptic glove combines force feedback to feel restriction, as well as tactical feedback to feel the texture of an object. This combination enables the users to react similarly as in real life.

“Hand presence in VR is one of the most immersive things. At the moment I grasp this bottle in a virtual environment, I feel resistance with the resistance I feel the density and the size of an object. It feels like I’m actually holding it,” Gijs adds.

In the beginning of 2018, the team wanted to make their first batch of SenseGloves. That was when investor and now Operation Manager Niels Bogert joined the team. Currently, SenseGlove is a team of nine full-time employees, two of whom are the original co-founders. 

For the future, they are working on a wireless version that is less bulky, smaller and easy to clean. The Exo Skeleton can already be purchased as a developer kit. Up until now, SenseGlove sold around 100 kits including clients like Google DeepMind, VW, Scania, Fraunhofer and Airbus.

Milestones

November 2014 – Winners of YES!Delft’s Validation Lab  program

April 2015 – STW grand; – Joined YES!Delft’s Incubation Program

 September 2016 – Secured funding from Unique

 End of 2016 – Change of business model   

 September 2017 – Demonstration at CEBIT

 Beginning of 2018 – Investment from Angel investor and COO

 November 2019 – Funding from Forward.one and Value Creation Capital

YES!Funded announces its new Director

Following the need from startups for support in their funding journey, we launched YES!Funded a year ago. YES!Funded is a three pillar proposition service, where we help startups become investor ready, introduce them to relevant investors, and if desired we also provide support with actual funding rounds, both in the form of deal making and grants writing. Our service is unique because we provide support to startups in every stage of their funding lifecycle and we can act based on the specific needs of these startups. 

THE FIRST YEAR

When we started YES!Funded, it was all about solving acute funding problems, building trust from scratch with no track record and infrastructure. Because we realized a lack of knowledge on funding issues, we piloted an Investor Readiness Program. In parallel, we built an extensive investors network and sought collaboration with informal investor circles, platforms and banks, in order to organise quick access to a large investor base. We entered into contracts with several startups, succeeding in closing one equity deal, and executing numerous grants applications together with our partner StasburgReeve. 

Now that we know that there is a large need for support in this area, we are going to further build and scale our proposition. To make this possible, YES!Delft asked Bianca Boelema-Noordhuizen to join YES!Funded as the Director. With her experience in M&A (at Philips), venture capital and angel investments, Bianca has in-depth knowledge of the entire startup investment process. Therefore, this new role and task to take YES!Funded to the following stage fits her perfectly. 

THE NEW ROLES

Bianca will be responsible for managing the YES!Funded service from an operational and strategic point of view, and will focus on developing and building the proposition to a national proposition. This includes building a strong team, implementing the Investor Readiness Program, attracting potential partners, establishing an active network of investors and providing startup access to this network.  

Jan Geert is responsible for the investment advice to the startup community, the deal flow and execution of private investment tracks, and together with StrasburgReeve for the grant application flow. With his throughout experience in the tech-startup and investments world, he can advise startups on anything from business planning and finance to startup funding, investor focus, grants, deal structure and governance.

Carola has been part of YES!Funded from the start and played an important role in piloting the Investor Readiness Program. In addition, she supports the startup and investor communities by bringing them together and building an investor network. She makes sure that investors have access to the right investment opportunities, matching their investment focus with startups needs.

Top 10 startup success stories: March

It’s has been a busy month for the startup incubator YES!Delft – we officially opened our new location, YES!Delft The Hague. And our startups have been hustling too!  
Here we have selected the top 10 startup success stories for March:

 

1. Envision

Not only has AI startup Envision made the move to the brand new YES!Delft the Hague Digital Hub, at its grand opening they celebrated having successfully raised 250 000 EUR seed investment. Of course, they did so in traditional YES!Delft style; sabering champagne like pros!

Apply for the AI/Blockchain Validation Lab

 

2. Warp Industries

At Get in the Ring 2019, EdTech/AI startup Warp Industries wowed the 16 judges and came out on top in their battle. Out of 87 participants, this startup pitched their way to the top! This means they will be attending Global Meetup 2019 in Berlin, a huge networking event with other startups, investors, and innovation professionals.

 

3. VIBES.technology

Since 2016 the team has been developing intuitive and user-friendly applications that make complex sound and vibration levels analysis accessible. Now VIBES.technology have launched DIRAC, the first software of its kind and a breakthrough application for test-based modeling. DIRAC ensures traceability of results and indicates the quality of the measurement.

 

4. Smart-Ship

Currently in our Accelerator Program, Smart-Ship continues to make waves! Their ambitious goal of autonomous shipping has landed the team a feature in Maritime Delta. Their innovative technology aims for a harmonious collaboration between man and machine to minimize human error in the shipping industry.

 

5. NOWI

The Dutch Semiconductor innovator won first place at the 2019 IoT World Cup for its work on energy harvesting technology. NOWI technology enables companies to use the energy that is already readily available around the device. This can be light, heat, movement or even radio waves. There is energy all around us that can now be converted and used to power IoT devices.

Apply for the Complex Tech Validation Lab

 

6. STIL

This MedTech startup, developing a brace to help stabilize the hands of Parkinson’s patients, has received funding from the Rabobank Innovation Fund. Moreover, Rabobank and STIL have joined forces so that the anti-tremor brace can be tested in a Clinical Study.

 

7. Somnox

This robotics tech startup dream team has landed (another!) feature by the BBC. Moreover, the first sleeping robots are on their way to the earliest backers of the startup! The first sleep robots started to reach their Kickstarter backers this week! A dream come true!

 

8. BI/OND

Big round of applause: BI/OND, one of our MedTech startups, has made it to the final of the Philips Innovation Award! On May 6, BI/OND are pitching against 4 other startups in the Innovator Award category grand final. And they’re not the only YES!Delft startup! DeNoize, part of the Accelerator Program, is in the final as well. The main prize is 50 000 EUR cash. Fingers crossed for both of these amazing startups!

Yesterday, the Semi-Final & Innovation Market took place in het Drijvend Paviljoen in Rotterdam. It was a day full of…

Geplaatst door Philips Innovation Award op Donderdag 21 maart 2019

 

9. Solar Monkey

The startup, whose innovative software maps the yield of solar panels, has raised 1M in funding. The money will be used to speed up the rollout, and breaking through in the international market!

 

10. Hello Tomorrow

We visited the Hello Tomorrow Summit in Paris, where we met many familiar faces! Rob Bedeuker, DSM Investment Director and one of the mentors from our upcoming BioTech Validation Lab, was a speaker in the summit. He talked during an investment panel focused on BioTech. Moreover, we were delighted to see some of our startups in attendance!

DeNoize, part of our Accelerator Program, ran a busy booth showcasing their noise-reducing glass solution.  

Nowi, incubated at YES!Delft, pitched in the Industry 4.0 track.

Munevo, EITHealth Validation Lab 2018 alumni, pitched in the Healthcare track. They also ran a booth where visitors could try out moving a scooter with smart glasses!   

Apply for the BioTech Lab

Mars lander with a local touch

You hardly could have missed it – last night the NASA InSight lander touched down on the surface of Mars. We are especially excited, as YES!Delft startup T-Minus Engineering has been involved with the mission.

InSight’s objective is to study the ‘inner space’ on Mars. More precisely, to gain an understanding of the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets and determine the planet’s tectonic activity.

Since 2013, T-Minus Engineering has been part of the project as a subcontractor of DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt). They were specifically involved with the HP3 payload, which is central to the mission’s objective. The payload consists of a mechanical “Mole” that can penetrate the surface up to 5 meters.

T-Minus Engineering was involved via DLR Bremen in the Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT) work on prototypes, proto-flight and flight models of the Mole. Moreover, they worked on the development- and qualification testing activities, in terms of test design, preparation, execution, and reporting.

 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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