Smart & Connected Machines to the Rescue!

Matthias Hüni
August 16 2016
Robots are building our cars, artificial intelligence is answering our questions (we call her “Siri” or “Cortana” or “Alexa”) and thanks to 3D printing and rapid manufacturing, individualized and tailor-made products are now part of our everyday lives. Many areas have already been revolutionized (or disrupted) thanks to the use of Smart & Connected Machines (SCM). Yet, there are still lots of possibilities for improvement, as we have learned during our evaluation phase of nearly 100 startups applying for the first batch of the Smart & Connected Machines vertical of Kickstart Accelerator.

SCM in Industry Applications
The manufacturing industry relies heavily on the use of robotics and automation. No wonder, many of our applications are trying to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the machines and robots involved in these processes. This could be – for example – a high-precision robotic gripper, developed by one of our finalists – BOTA. After coming up with a very affordable yet accurate torque sensor design and refining its capabilities, they decided to take a step forward and put their invention into practice. Our next finalist – Viscopic – provides an all-in-one communication and documentation solution when your machinery enters a maintenance cycle or needs to be fixed. It brings together technicians and experts with the customer’s maintenance staff and helps them to solve issues quickly and sustained.

SCM at Home
It sounds somehow obvious: home automation and energy efficiency should go hand in hand. Smart Home Technology assists you in getting your standby power consumption down to zero using their crypto-secured home automation appliances. Speaking of crypto: do you own a network attached storage (NAS) device? Have you ever thought of renting out drive space on your NAS and getting Bitcoin in return? Minebox wants to revolutionize the way we store and safely distribute our data – and therefore avoid the loss of data due to a single point of failure issue.

SCM for Leisure and Fun
How do we teach robotics and automation to our future engineers? UK-based Tio has an answer to this question – their robotic building blocks are suitable for kids at the age of 5 and let them explore the world of sensors and motors, lighting and signaling in a playful way. What about the big kids? Please meet Drofie – the flying selfie stick! The Latvian startup will bring selfies to the next level, developing a pocket-sized drone that will position itself based on visual reference so you won’t need any tracking device or GPS to lead its way.

So – throw away that selfie stick and say hello to the future!