Energy Robotics, a leading developer and provider of a software platform for the digitalisation of industrial inspection and security tasks, has convinced the European Innovation Council (EIC) of the company's business model and innovative solutions as part of its Accelerator Programme: robot-based security control and autonomous inspection of industrial plants, company premises and critical infrastructure to support inspection and security personnel. The German startup is now receiving financial support from the EIC to further develop AI-supported innovations and to propel its end-to-end software platform to the next level. With this funding, Energy Robotics is taking the next step in its quest to revolutionise industrial inspection and relieve humans from repetitive work in potentially hazardous environments.
Energy Robotics is one of the few selectively chosen applicants (7%) to receive funding. Energy Robotics will use the €2.5 million grant to expand its business and develop innovative AI technologies for its autonomous inspection platform. Created under the EU Horizon Europe programme, the EIC's mission is to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and innovations. To this end, it supports startups and spinout companies in the European region through its Accelerator Programme by providing funding in the form of both grants and investments.
"We are proud that the EIC committee was convinced of our business model and the innovative power of our solutions," says a delighted Marc Dassler, Co-Founder and CEO of Energy Robotics. "The financial support will enable us to further develop and expand our platform to continue to be at the forefront of the transformation that autonomous robots have triggered."
The convincing basis
Already with the first version of the platform available on the market, Energy Robotics has earned the trust of its customers and has more than 50 robots in operation at companies such as Shell, Merck, E.ON,BP and BASF. At the heart of the software platform is a combination of Energy Robotics' Robot Brain and Cloud solution, which can be used to operate and control a heterogenous fleet of robots to autonomously collect high quality inspection data and obtain actionable insights. Users are thus able to identify potential sources of danger at an early stage and make informed decisions quickly on the basis of the data.
The next chapter
Thanks to the EIC grant, the company is taking the next step in its evolution - the further development of the platform. The goal is fully autonomous inspection robots with state-of-the-art capabilities that act similar to human inspection specialists in the event of deviations and anomalies. Thus, a state-of-the-art Robot Brain with proprietary AI functions via Sense & React capabilities not only ensures high-quality and reliable inspection data, it also equips the robots with robust and flexible situational awareness that ensures autonomous navigation and inspection even in the event of significant changes in its surroundings and the occurrence of anomalies based on a semantic 3D understanding of the environment.
The Cloud Brain is also being further developed, expanding the management of inspection missions and access to inspection reports, as well as the transformation of data into actionable insights (e.g. digitisation of sites, predictive maintenance). In addition, a new backend for teaching advanced AI skills will be added. This will enable inspection tasks such as the detection of thermographic anomalies and individual protective equipment in the future, as well as the detection of personnel in emergency situations and features such as the GDPR compliant recognition of faces. Last but not least, the ER Skill Store platform will also be expanded. This means that in future, users will be able to equip both the Robot Brain at its interfaces and the Cloud Brain with AI-supported skills for data analysis in real time. These will be made available by third-party providers, customers and ER.
Optimistic view of the future
For the future, Energy Robotics plans to continue on its current path of growth and conquer the emerging inspection robotics market. To this end, Energy Robotics is constantly developing its solution, among other things in terms of further diversifying the software platform and adding additional services such as the financing of robots or inspection-as-a-service models.
About the solution
The hardware-independent Robot Brain provides a fleet of various robots with the intelligence required to move autonomously through the inspection environment and to collect information from up to 100,000 inspection points daily. The necessary raw data is collected with the help of cameras and other sensors. Already established tasks include gas mapping, reading analog gauges, detecting valve positions, switch positions, fire extinguishers and audio analysis of motors and pumps, as well as monitoring fences, windows and doors, checking emergency exits to ensure they are unobstructed and detecting (unauthorised) persons. Via the cloud brain, all deployed robots are managed, inspection missions are planned and the collected raw data is transformed into actionable insights with the help of AI.