Hi, guys! Philip English from philipenglish.com and today we have an interview with the Tech London Advocates team, who are telling us about a mixture of Robots.Thomas Andersson: (00:00)
Hello and welcome to the inaugural TLA robotics events. My name is Thomas Anderson and I am one of the four group leaders in TLA Robotics. I’ll be very brief, so we can get onto the exciting part, which is then to see the company presentation, um, Tech London Advocates now, or TLA for short is a voluntary organization. So please consider that everyone involved in today’s event has spent their free time on this. So if you could mute your microphones until it’s your time to speak, that’d be great as well. And I should mention that if he wants to become a member of TLA, please reach out to any of us. You’d just take a screenshot of the screen right now and reach out to us, after the event or during his event. We’re lucky to have, Russ Shaw, the founder of tech, London advocates on the call today.
Thomas Andersson: (00:54)
So he’ll be introducing tech, London advocates in a bit more detail. So I will talk a bit more about the robotics group. So TLA robotics was set up in April 2020 with the purpose of encouraging and promoting robotics and automation in UK, Europe. So the key reason for this is simply that the UK and Europe lags behind North American and Asia in terms of funding for robotics companies in particular, those with a hardware component at the same time, we also keen to see, increased adoption of robotics and automation across industries. And in particular in the UK, which likes behind many of its European peers, in robot penetration, further more. We also have an aim to encourage more women in robotics. And the reason I’m laughing slightly is that today’s, we’ve totally failed with that. And we all men who are presenting here, but we promise to, to improve that in our next, coming, webinars.
Thomas Andersson: (01:57)
I should also note that our medium to long term, aim is to organize physical networking events. However, depending on the success of these webinars, we may continue these as well. Before I hand over to Russ to introduce Tech London Advocates in more detail, I want to extend a big thank you to Robot Center, which is a robotics and automation system integrator based in UK. Robot Center has kindly sponsored the zoom hosting for this event and without that, we wouldn’t be able to showcase the many thriving companies that are coming up. It’s a big thank you to Philip and his colleagues at Robot Center first of all. You will be hearing more from Robot Center after Russ has introduced Tech, London advocates as well with that, I’ll get sharing. so can we stop right over to you, Russ?
Russ Shaw: (02:50)
Thanks, Thomas and Thomas congratulations to you for getting this group set up and launched today. I know this has been a passion of yours, and I know you, and I’ve been speaking about this for the past few months. So, so many congratulations on taking an idea and turning it into a reality. And also let me add my thanks to the Robot Center as well. As Thomas mentioned I am the founder of Tech, London Advocates, I know many on the call today may not be familiar with Tech London, Advocates and TLA Robotics. So I’m just going to take a couple of minutes to share a bit more about the group as well as Global Tech Advocates. I launched Tech London Advocates back in 2013. So we’re just over seven years old. Um, and I did it because I wanted to create a group of diverse leaders from all backgrounds and all walks of life, to come together as volunteers, mainly from the private sector to promote London’s tech ecosystem and to deal with the issues and challenges that we face in our ecosystem.
Russ Shaw: (03:51)
And Thomas alluded to those, in relation to Robotics at the start in terms of where the UK and Europe lags behind a bit on, on the robotics. so I launched the group. I make it very easy for people to come into the group. And, and after this event, Thomas and I will, we’ll write to all of you and all of those who registered to, to invite you and welcome you to the group. But basically I ask advocates to do three things. One, use us as a resource, whenever you’re speaking or blogging or tweeting about tech, good, bad. It doesn’t matter, but we want to really encourage advocates to try and speak with a relatively consistent voice. When we’re speaking to media to government and to other key influencers, the group is open free to join entirely inclusive. Anybody can come into the group.
Russ Shaw: (04:38)
I just ask every advocate when ready to do so to introduce at least one new advocate to the community. So we’re built on network effects and the London group has gone from zero back in April, 2013 to over 9,500 advocates, literally people introducing new advocates to me or people coming into the community through working groups like TLA robotics. And then three, I ask every, I ask if we advocate to adopt the ethos, which is we’re here to help one another for the greater good. If an advocate reaches out and says, do you know this person? Can you connect me? Can you make an introduction? Can you help either say yes or say, look, no, I’m sorry. I can’t, maybe I can find somebody who can, so that’s all I ask him. Every advocate it’s designed for very busy people. we now have, and as of today with this group, I think this is working group number 50 or 51.
Russ Shaw: (05:32)
I’ve lost count, but we do have over 50 working groups. and Thomas has working and he’d been working incredibly hard to build up this community before we actually launched the TLA robotics group. So take a look on the website. You’re welcome to get involved with other working groups. If there’s another group beyond this that you’re interested in, do let me know. And I’ll connect you to the leaders of those groups. Obviously we’re in a strange time, the pandemic, normally I host one or two big events in London each year but we’ve had to postpone things our next TLA event will actually be in March of 2021. It’s called debate tech. We have invited all of the London Mayor candidates who were running for mayor, which was supposed to happen this May, it was going to happen in May, 2021 to come to an event and debate a tech manifesto that we’re preparing with them along with, center for London, London.
Russ Shaw: (06:25)
First in tech, UK, Thomas, I know you wanted to mention, having, you mentioned a couple things on the horizon. One of the big things coming up is London tech week. Tech London Advocates has been a founding partner of London tech week since its inception back in 2014, back in June of this unit normally takes place. Thanks. During June of each year, we held a small virtual London tech week events called London tech week connects. and it was a great success. It was all done virtually, and I think we had eight or nine, 9,000 people attend tech week connects. it was so successful that the fellow founding partners, which are informant tech and London and partners along with TLA and founders forum said, let’s run a bigger version of that in September. So for the week of the 7th of September London tech week, we’ll come back, , next week, I’m sending out a newsletter to all advocates, which is my London tech week preview.
Russ Shaw: (07:20)
So Thomas, your timing is excellent in terms of launching this group. Now everybody will get a newsletter next week, which will summarize and highlight how to get involved, how to register for events. The good news is everything is free for London tech week in September. One of the thing I just want to talk about is tech London advocates is now probably of global tech advocates, which is a network that I’ve been I’ve set up globally since 2015. There are now approximately 20 groups in global tech advocates around the world. So in the UK, we have the London group, we have three other groups, one in the North of England, one in Belfast and one in Scotland in Europe, we have a Nordics group which covers Scandinavia and the Baltics. We have a Italy group, it’s Spain group, a Paris group in the Americas. We have groups in the San Francisco Bay area in Canada, Mexico, and in Bogota, Colombia in Asia, we have groups in Singapore or Japan and two groups in China, one in Shanghai and one in Schengen. We have five groups in launch stage, Korea, Australia, India, Netherlands, and yeah, what’s being called emerging Europe, which will cover central and Eastern Europe. The Balkans going all the way up to Ukraine. So they’re scheduled to launch later this year and early into 2021 last year, I held the first ever global tech advocates summit in China. We did it in Shanghai last October, and then I’m form part of a global tech advocates festival. We traveled on to Beijing. There were approximately 60 us who took
Russ Shaw: (08:56)
Place who participated in the event from nine of the 16 GTA groups at the time. So obviously things are a bit different this year, but we’ll take a look next year. I’m thinking of doing, the GTA festival again, possibly in China. And I know that there’ll be a lot of interest in this robotics group as we move forward with it. So hopefully that gives you a picture for me as to who we are, what we’re all about. Again, I will follow up with you, Thomas. We’ll follow up with you hopefully over the next day or two to bring you in, share more information and get you comfortable being part of the community. So Thomas back to you really looking forward to the rest of the session,
Thomas Andersson: (09:37)
Thanks for that Russ. Let’s jump straight over to the exciting part, which is the company presentation. So it’s a Philip English Robot center, tonight’s event sponsor as well.
Philip English: (09:55)
Perfect. Thank you guys. Thanks for the introduction so much. Appreciate it. And I’ll say, yeah, always keen to support, like these types of events. So I just, put my power point on one second. Right, Can everyone see that?
Philip English: (10:24)
Right. Perfect. right. Yeah. So, so my name’s Phillip English and I’m chief operation officer over at robot center and we’re a collaborative robot company. We work with, companies such as Airbus, Honeywell as the NHS, to automate repetitive tasks and get our customers robot optimised, as well as a return on investment. And as a system integrator, we, basically analyze our customer’s needs, provide a plan for automation and then put that automation into production.
Philip English: (11:05)
What I wanted to share on this presentation is really the three key problem areas that we see customers facing in both the private and public sectors. And, the reason why, we find them that the reason why they find that, that, that looking into, in so into these three areas, so that the first one is resource. second one is optimization and the third one is innovation. So we’ll go through each one. So starting with resource. So due, the aging workforce and the skills, labor gap shortage. We see people are not interested in doing the dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs anymore. This means employers are struggling to recruit the right people and staff retention is low. As a result, businesses are constantly having to retrain new staff racking up thousands of pounds in training costs and loss of productivity.
Philip English: (12:01)
Next one we see is optimisation. So with businesses pressured to produce their products and services faster and more cost effectively, we see employees doing low value tasks and every step is the debt is the same with the physical movement of materials alone, wasting a huge amount of time. The negative effects of this are twofold. First, the customer suffers from a continuity issues and reduce level of service. Secondly, the employee suffers may suffer unnecessarily stress and may even be subject to injury or illness. So that’s the second one. The next one we see is to do with innovation. So because of technology advancements, there’s an increase in demand for products and services to be both bespoke and delivered next day, this can cause problems, we’ve been saying the right inventory levels and to fill in large orders, as well as bottlenecks within the supply chain, coupled with a lack of visibility and traceability, these issues can lead to poor fulfillment at best and product deletion at worst because of the reduced time available for the R and D and innovation that keeps products relevant.
Philip English: (13:08)
So with the three main issues in mind, how we work at Robot Center. So we’ve developed a five step process that we follow to really get the full value of any robotics, integrations that we call our ROI methodology. And as a result, our customers enable more flexible resource, engaging, more efficient systems and optimization and explore robots innovation across the business processes. So here’s our five steps just quickly. So first we, uh, we Research the sites on the right robotic tools to use with an organized, so Organising the full process and the team around it. We then Build the robotic system and developed the ecosystem for the customer. Then the next phase is to Operate where we always want things running and then the support package. And then we move on to the Transcendent stage where we really feel innovation comes when businesses leverage their existing teams and we support business with thier own product creation.
Philip English: (14:08)
And each of these steps has a process around it to get the customer’s automation goals. So quickly talking about goals. So Robot Center supports the 17 global goals, which if you don’t know where they are in 2015 world leaders agreed to 17 goals officially known as the sustainable development goals, goals, or STGs. The aim of these goals is to create a better world by 2030 with specific targets for this date. So the Robot Center team all grew up, what’s in Sci-fi films and see in versions of either utopian futures or dystopian futures. And we want to be the architects of real positive future that is powered and supported by robotic technology we aligned to global goal number nine, which is to build resilient infrastructures for promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. And we support charities and robotics startups, their lines to this goal
Philip English: (15:08)
So,I know we have a mixture of people in this call, investors, robot uses, system integrators, robot vendors and startups, etc. So what I really want to do is just to reach out, to see who would be open to working with us on any partnering opportunities. We’re keen to extend our services to our customers at the same time, add more ideas and innovations to our Research process. So I’ll put my email address here firstname.lastname@example.org. For anyone that wants to reach out and speak to me. And then a again, yeah, really are especially is our five step, ROI methodology for getting customers, Industries, Infrastructures, and Innovations, Robot Optimsed to build a better future. So I’m looking forward to hear from you. Cool. And I’ll pass it back.
Thomas Andersson: (16:02)
Thanks for that philip, with that we’ll go straight to Henry and we would have cofounder at Inovo Robotics. Um, you ready there Henry?
Henry Wood: (16:11)
Thank you. Yes. Uh, demo screen. So can you see that?
Philip English: (16:20)
Henry Wood: (16:21)
Great. Thank you. Thanks Thomas. Yeah, so as Thomas said, my name is Henry Wood and I’m one of the founders of Inovo robotics. Inovo is a fairly early stage company. We set up in 2016 to develop robotic hardware and software for an opportunity that we saw in the manufacturing sector. So I’ll start with a bit of background. So the manufacturing sector is currently worth a staggering $25 trillion globally. And around 20% of this sector is mass production. Mass production has taken, a really large part of its solution from automation. And it is a heavy user of industrial robots for more than five decades now, but the remaining 80% of the manufacturing sector is actually batch or low volume manufacturing. And this sector is still very reliant on manual labor for most of the machine tending, assembly packing and handling tasks.
Henry Wood: (17:16)
Doing these tasks manually is expensive and inefficient, and most companies would like to try and use more automation. But the problem is that today’s industrial robots are a poor fit for the needs of batch environments todays industrial robots generally need to be in cages. They are very much configured to do a one single task for their full lifespan, and they take a lot of expertise and skill to actually set up in the first place. So when Inovo set out to develop robots, which are going to be much more flexible, much easier to program a use a much more versatile, do a really wide range of different tasks. So we developed a modular system, which allows the robot to be physically reconfigured for different tasks. So you can remove links sections from the robot. You can put longer links, shorter links, or take them out completely.
Henry Wood: (18:05)
And this changes the physical reach and payload of the robot. And this makes it much easier to move the robot between different applications as needs change and needs do change a lot, particularly in batch manufacturing, where companies are making different products month by month. They’re often switching between batches and reverting back to them later, but in between they can’t, they can’t have one space permanently dedicated to one process when you’ve got customers in different batches to fulfill. So we’ve put a lot of effort into developing our software to make it very easy to use, to have a very quick setup, time, a much shorter learning curve and to be very flexible. We’ve also developed an architecture, which makes it much easier to expand the product in the future so that we can add vision systems, new sensors, and even new modules, as the needs arise, allowing customers to buy the features they need, but not have to buy everything they don’t want. So our product is essentially three and one, and this, this slide shows a comparison, with, one of the leading competitors who have a range of three different robots to cover three different payloads and reaches and our robot basically covers all of these reaches and the majority of the payload configurations, within the same system, just by changing the setup.
Henry Wood: (19:30)
So the typical applications that we’re addressing a quite wide ranging, actually, you see, companies making, consumer products, making injection moulded parts, for the automotive, for the domestic markets for electronics and things like this. And it’s not uncommon to see companies where you have a injection moulding machine, and then you have an operator standing next to it who has to physically reach inside the machine, lift out the moulded part, place it on a bench, close the door, and press a button to run the cycle again. And this is, this is a very repetitive, dull, task, which, which no one really wants to do. And it’s a, it’s a poor use of, of skill or labour. You often find short cycle times as well, where it might be between 20 seconds and a minute where someone has to repeat that process. So it was very difficult for them to go and do anything else useful in between.
Henry Wood: (20:19)
And it’s an ideal application where a robot can be programmed very quickly to reach inside, grab the part, place it out, close the door, and send a signal to the machine to, operate it a similar example with CNC, where companies are making metal parts and an operator generally has to put a blank metal part in, lift up, lift the machine part out and stack it. and again, similar cycle times between 20 or 30 seconds up to a few minutes, but very hard for anyone to do anything else in between. Our robots also quite well suited to packing and assembly tasks where, electronics or components need to be put inside enclosures and fittings, screws, etc it needs to be inserted. and the there’s a lot of repetition there and really quite simple motions robots, very well suited to, we also see, spray painting and gluing and coatings where a robot can be followed to program to follow very precise tasks.
Henry Wood: (21:16)
And one of the other benefits with this is you can take a person out of a hazardous environment. You can stop them being exposed to toxic chemicals or to very dirty materials. We’re also seeing a lot of interest in logistics and fulfilment centres where people are picking parts and placing them, into packaging. And they, tend to have very seasonal work as well. So it’s a classic example of a process that’s repetitive, but it changes from month to month. And so the ability to move the robot to a different task and reprogramming quickly and easily is very valuable. And we’re also starting to see some new emerging applications, things like, in kitchens and in food preparation, which is partly a response to COVID-19 where there’s a, an increased desire to take people out of the loop in terms of handling food or, handling products that are potentially going to pass on virus.
Thomas Andersson: (22:12)
Excellent. That’s your time up? Do you want to wrap up Henry now?
Henry Wood: (22:19)
Yeah, I’ll just, I’ll just quickly conclude with this graph. And this is showing the coverage of, more than 50 different applications we looked at and how our one system could do all these applications, whereas you needed a wide range of other robots to do a similar thing. So thanks for the opportunity to, to talk and I’m looking forward to being part of that London advocates.
Thomas Andersson: (22:39)
Excellent. Thanks for that. Henry, very interesting, especially with the food preparation now in pandemic times and so on. So, quickly then over to Jakub Langr, who’s the cofounder of Creation Labs? Which is one of my, um, I’ll say, uh, really interesting points, which is, Generative Adversarial Networks. I can hardly pronounce it, but then went over to you Jakub to explain more.
Jakub Langr: (23:07)
Amazing, thank you so much for inviting me and happy to be part of Tech London advocates. Um, I’ll just share my screen in a second and hopefully everyone can see yeah, everyone good. Cool. Amazing. So, um, thank you for the introduction. As Thomas said, we’re creation labs and we’re all about creating engineering that right data. And I think especially, uh, this is a good set of data to some of the discussion that we had around vision and sort of integrating vision system into robotics. Um, so, um, you know, what’s the, what’s the problem today. And especially as we move up to robots that we can see a lot of people quickly realize that deep learning is actually very data hungry. And I think one of my favorite slides that really demonstrates that it’s this, um, sort of comparison of how long it took for some real world, uh, breakthrough to happen, you know, whether that’s IBM, deep, blue beating Garry Kasparov, or, you know, uh, sort of English to Chinese translation and vice versa or the IBM shepardy or Google net, all these advancements have happened very shortly after the data sets were available for them to accomplish that.
Jakub Langr: (24:29)
But actually a really long time on average 20 years, um, almost to after the algorithms have been first proposed, the fundamental algorithms of a lot of machine learning are actually quite old. Um, and, um, the, the challenge really becomes around data. And I think the same thing you can hear from the sort of captains of the industry like Andre Carthy, who is the chief AI officer at Tesla, um, you know, sort of, uh, when, when we had a meeting with him, he said that, you know, uh, within machine learning everything except for data as a commodity, and we really see that happening. Uh, you know, the economist commented on this. There’s some industry research suggesting that even large enterprises struggle a lot with, with training data availability. Um, so, you know, that’s an interesting problem. And I think, you know, uh, most of, most of the people who building vision systems would really spend most of the time in the last five sort of, you know, mold, training, model, tuning, algorithm development, and operalization, but really, you know, when you look at the time, then of course there’s so much more effort that comes into that cleaning, labeling augmentation of that data.
Jakub Langr: (25:39)
Um, you know, I, I think you can kind of, I would personally have some, some comments to this, this economist article, but I think it’s a useful starting point. And, you know, I think one of the key things here is also the acquisition of the data, how you’re even acquiring the raw images in the first place. Um, and so just quickly moving on, I think fundamentally there’s three, three big problems. There’s a sourcing of the data. So sourcing the data with the right sensors at sort of the right time or capturing the right events that you need to, um, you know, and, and whether that’s a simple RGB camera, whether you have LIDAR in your stack, whether you have some, some other ways of, of doing depth estimation, you know, all of these things are quite important. Uh, of course then this, the step of labeling you to explain to the vision system what’s going on.
Jakub Langr: (26:23)
And then lastly, there’s the step of curation and balance and making sure that the data that you’ve captured actually aligns well with the, um, proposed business problem. Right? So one of the things that we do is basically we create the, these data sets sometimes, uh, sometimes that our customers, then you use exclusively as a, as, as a synthetic data. Sometimes people use that in conjunction. I think that’s more common in conjunction, conjunction with real data where we basically create the perfect curated data set, but all the senses they need, um, and all the, all the labels. Uh, now I’m sure that sounds great, but how do we do it? So one of the things that Thomas alluded to, uh, will become apparent in a second, but the basis for what we’re modeling always has to start with a 3D environment. So it has to start with 3D model of the scene.
Jakub Langr: (27:13)
Um, you know, here we can get things like, um, depth sensors, um, semantic segmentation. So what pixel is, what object, um, 3d bounding boxes, 3D position, um, basically anything synthetic LIDAR we’ve, we’ve done all these types of sensors. And if there’s some custom sensor that someone needs, like we can integrate that because it’s a simulation, it’s easy for us to sort of know, you know, pixel perfect, uh, semantic maps are picks up perfect depth values very easily. Um, but you know, that’s sort of not good enough. I mean, people, especially these set of techniques that are sort of called SIM to real started in robotics, um, you know, because the need is sort of, as I’m sure a lot of you realize is that it’s sort of the highest. Um, but, but what people quickly realize is that that doesn’t work particularly well because it doesn’t generalize from the synthetic world onto the real world.
Jakub Langr: (28:04)
So what we do is we take Ganz as, as Thomas alluded to so generative adversarial networks and basically use what’s called domain adaptation to learn from a sample of real data to apply it to the rendered, uh, rendered scene to make it basically photo realistic. Yeah. So this is an example I’ll just quickly show you what we would, we have done in a ton of us vehicles. We have done some work in robotics, happy to talk about it afterwards. Um, but basically here we’ve taken a rent computer render instead of make it for a realistic based on a German data sets. So hopefully this is clearly more the stick. So, um, yeah, uh, I think I’ll, there’s some metrics if you want, you can sort of talk to me about them afterwards are definitely better consistently, uh, in simulation and I’ll just close off. Yeah. If you, if you want to find out more happy to entertain any, any, uh, points and discussions, I’ll leave it at that. Thank you.
Thomas Andersson: (29:01)
Very interesting. Um, complex subject methods, um, with that we, um, jump over to some to Sameer Puri, who’s head of sales, at um, Eiratech. Over to you Sam
Sameer Puri: (29:15)
Thanks, Tom. Um, so glad to be a part of a Tech London, um, thanks to Tom again, to Russ and to Phil. So I’m just going to screen share my screen there. Okay. Can you guys see this? Okay. Perfect. Okay, great. So my name is Sameer Purri. I represent Eiratech robotics. We provide autonomous automation solutions, um, in terms what we do well, we provide end to end solutions. So whatever you need, in terms of robotic automation from concept design, prototyping, simulations, integration, project management, et cetera, we provide the full spectrum of solutions. Everything that we do there is in house. So we don’t outsource any of our core services. So electrical, mechanical engineering, safety certification, software operations, and post-sale support. Everything is performed in house.
Sameer Puri: (30:07)
We’re a growing team. So we’re currently more than 45 full time employees. Uh, we have a pan European clientele, which is where most of our large to medium sized clients are based. We are safety certified we’re C compliant, and we installed a rigorous use standards in terms of our solutions overview. Let me just give you a quick overview of our portfolio solutions. Um, in terms of the hard way we provide goods to person or goods to order robots. So this is essentially robots operating within an enclosure, moving at very high speeds of about three to four meters per second, to ensure speed and efficiency we also provide safety robots that can work outside of enclosures that drive safely around humans for a variety of tasks from material transport or line feed, et cetera. We also provide stations, customizable, racks, and chargers. As part of this hardware portfolio.
Sameer Puri: (31:03)
We also have additional peripherals for, for the add on operations. So whether you need to pick the sort wall and we’ll put the light system or a light pointer, or whether you have cluster picking or batch picking, we can step in with a variety of peripherals that can compliment our solutions. In terms of the software. We’ve got embedded software, of course, working on most basic level with regards to the hardware over and above that we have our own fleet management system called RMS. We have our own in house designed extended warehouse management system and loping. All of that. We have the user interface and something that we call Eiracore. This is an operational control and analysis dashboard. It provides you with a status and statistical update on the entire system. Everything from tasks, picking replenishment, picker, efficiency, robot service, and charge, et cetera, everything is provided in this dashboard for full operational control system. In terms of applications. There were quite a few here. So just to talk a little bit about, uh, our kitting operations under manufacturing. So if you have inventory from which you need to pull out items to build kits, which will then be taken to a line feed or assembly, this is something we can handle.
Sameer Puri: (32:24)
Um, when you’re talking about line feed or flexible, flexible manufacturing, this is something that we can actually manage. We’ve been doing this for a particular automotive plant as well, intra-logistics. So if you’re talking about moving storing, sorting and shipping of goods, this is one of our key specialties. It’s something we can manage on the retail side, if you’re looking at an online grocery. So if you have a dark store setup, are you looking at back of store operations, such as marshaling, or you want to get into micro fulfillment where the companies talk to, this is something that we provide as one of our key specialties. And last but not least when you’re talking about eCommerce fulfillment, um, this is what the goods to person or Vista order system was designed for, particularly when we’re talking about a competitive market. So when you’re looking at fast and furious consumers that want next day delivery or fast returns, this is something we can quite easily manage.
Sameer Puri: (33:19)
And we have a demonstrated alum, um, KPIs. When it comes to high pick rates and accuracy, we have a consultancy approach. We pay a lot of attention to detail, and we spend a lot of time listening to our customers to analyze their pain points. So we do data analysis. We define KPIs, we review processes and essentially we’re driven by yourselves. So whatever your challenges are, we have a portfolio of solutions that can tackle your challenges. My details have been provided in every slide. So give me a call or drop me an email, and let’s talk about how we can help you go autonomous. And that’s it from my end,
Thomas Andersson: (34:06)
Okay , thanks Sameer Puri . Just as a quick reminder to everyone, if you look at the bottom of the screen, you should have a Q and a comment thing as well. If you want to put on a question, the director, attorney of the presenters, you may do so as well, hopefully we’ll do a Q and a session at the end as well. With that I want to hand over to, um, Mathieu Scampani who is, um, the UK sales manager for Fives Intralogistics. I never know how to pronounce that, so hopefully Mathieu can help us with that.
Mathieu Scampini: (34:40)
Yes. Hello everybody. Um, I hope you can see my screen here. Yes. Thank you. So, yes. Hello everybody. I Mathieu Scampini Sales manager at Fives. Uh, thanks first to Tech London Advocates for hosting us today and give us the opportunity to introduce our newest solutions in logistics. Um, at fives, one of our focus is the parcel world. Uh, this is an exciting market and that UK alone is at the top, uh, being number one in possible volume per capita in number two eCommerce market, uh, only after China and North America. And also, uh, it’s about 20, uh, 20 billion pounds turnover, uh, only for the top 25, uh, Korean companies. So yes, the UK is a huge logistic platform with massive needs for volumes, and that has to be delivered in record times, uh, businesses. Uh, what we see usually focus on, uh, labor efficiency, time savings, uh, improved accuracy, and also tracking and scalability. So here is a start to understand why process rotation is a must.
Mathieu Scampini: (35:57)
So at FIV, we have a wide range of solutions, uh, for the logistics, with all sorts of material handling solutions and software. Uh, so we start, we can address, uh, all challenges for our partners. And here you have an overview on this slide of the major partnership that we have, uh, in a unique way, uh, a few years ago, uh, surveying the market. We understood that 75% of the volume, uh, is small in that sector. And 95% is less than 25 kilo. Um, and also that logistic players required formation that will, uh, uh, always be in a smaller footprint, uh, that site can be moved easily. Uh, that also are scalable in different terms or in terms of capacity in terms of destinations, uh, and, uh, scale, uh, the investment according the growth of their business is very important, uh, and also to be flexible to all sorts of items. So that is for B to B or B to C, uh, and, uh, as it is very important, uh, especially in the UK, a higher level of service and the automation that follows
Mathieu Scampini: (37:14)
Mathieu Scampini: (37:14)
So, uh, supporting business to grow, we naturally move from a scheme that is, uh, with a low level of automation for low capacity to high-speed sortation for high capacity. Um, this pended, uh, until now to unbalance sites were on small sites with small volumes, you will be less efficient than when you have these mega hubs, uh, knowing that any logistics company or site would aim for our child and flexible organization, uh, and high efficiency. And we felt we could do more for the business and for our customers. Uh, that’s why we have imagine something different that I will introduce now. So our cavinants at Fives came up with the genuine solution. Uh, it’s an autonomous mobile robot. Uh, it goes fast to the deliver throughput and register distances. It’s modular to adapt also things scenarios. Uh, it needs no physical line on the floor, so it can be stored in any warehouse on the floor. So on grades, uh, it’s energetic, sorry. It is intelligence to avoid traffic jam, uh, thanks to is a traffic manager, and it can handle all sorts of items from very small, even non-compatible to a lens of 1.2 meters.
Mathieu Scampini: (38:37)
Uh, so in this slide here, you have an example of the latest design of a sorting center based on that technology, uh, the Geni-Ant, it sorts more than 5,000 items per hour, 200 destinations, and only, uh, about 50 robots. So you can imagine all the possibilities in what Same year or Phillip you’ve been talking before that application we can have. So, uh, just to conclude this solution, uh, respond to today’s need because it’s taught in a very short time, it’s easy to install and it’s compact. Uh, so it provides an optimal in automation that has never been seen before from low to higher throughput. Uh, and it’s also future-proof for tomorrow’s challenges because it’s scalable to expand. It’s easy to reconfigure and it’s allow you to invest just in what you need so together with your business, thanks all for your attention and to the presenters to make this journey even more interesting. If you have any question or inquiry, I’d be more than happy to engage with you. Just let me know you have my contact. Thanks again.
Thomas Andersson: (39:51)
Excellent. Thanks Mathieu .Um, with that I think we jump over to the very exciting, um, Bristol robotics lab, um, which is an incubator, which is a part of, um, two universities. If I’m wrong, Mark over to you and explain it in more detail.
Mark Corderoy: (40:20)
Mark Corderoy: (40:21)
Goodevening. Thank you for the opportunity to present you, uh, tonight. Um, my name is Mark Corderoy and I’m the incubation manager at the Bristol robotics lab laboratory. And what I want to do over the next couple of slides is just to explain a little bit about what we do as a laboratory and how we are helping, uh, the next generation of, uh, robotics and automation, startups. Uh, again, the commercial lives, the robotics for the, the university, the university of West of England, and the university of Bristol. And we have around 300 researchers and academics based in, uh, 55, very active, uh, master’s courses. We have a center for doctoral studies, um, and what we are as a laboratories, we’re very horizontal facility. We don’t, um, only specialize, you know, very sort of narrow fields of robotics, like some universities do. We have a very broad spectrum and what that means from a, an enterprise and a sort of a, uh, uh, a commercialization point of view as well, well placed to work
Mark Corderoy: (41:34)
With lots of different technologies to bring technology together, to create solutions. What we have done within the laboratory is to align with the university’s enterprise. So we actually are neighbors where we sit in the same building and the university enterprise zone is a very vibrant community of about 85 startup companies are split over three incubators, and I’ve talked about those on the next slide, but I think very importantly, um, backed by, um, a number of, uh, facilities, uh, that provides our startup support, which is pretty unique. So we have organizations like the robotics innovation of facility, which, um, provides free consultancy, free support, um, to start ups that could be access to a five-axis CNC machine. It could be modeling, um, it could be a simulation and prototyping. Uh, we have the health tech hub, which is, um, looking very much at the new generation of health sensors, and that’s a big crossover in the sort of the, the IOT space.
Mark Corderoy: (42:46)
And then because of the nature of the, what we are, we, we attract network. So we have a where the base of the West of England robotics network, we are meddling Southwest is based there. And so in normal times, non-covid times, it’s a very, very vibrant place for startups to create new businesses and to, um, interact with, uh, similarly minded entrepreneurs. And to that end, we have, uh, a range of different entrepreneurial options. We have a, a graduate incubator for companies. Uh, they recently graduated from universities and that’s university through across the UK. We have the BRL technology, hardware incubator, and that’s something that is a pretty unique, you know, hardware is hard as they say. Um, and we provide, um, a lot of support to companies in that space and then finally we have future space, which are grow-on space, which is our commercial offering.
Mark Corderoy: (43:43)
Um, and what we do as an organization, we don’t take equity positions. Um, we don’t charge rent for the first one to three years, depending upon the pathway companies come to us, but we provide lots of support. This is a range of some of the companies we’ve helped recently. Um, people who’ve sort of, uh, grow them, flown the nest from companies. You might recognize open Bionics, perceptual robotics, home Lincoln IOT, smart homes company recently just been acquired. Um, and you know, what we’re trying to do is we’re an incubator. We want people to join us and leave us, um, the, uh, successfully funded feature
Mark Corderoy: (44:30)
Mark Corderoy: (44:32)
Presentation seems to have ended prematurely. Um, I was just going to talk about the last line I was going to talk about was, um, an example of how we were, um, uh, helping the startup community. We’re just involved in a new project called umbrella. And it’s one of the most complicated acronyms I can remember. So without a slide, I’m not going to try and remember it, but this is the first IOT 5g public network that has been, we’re creating, um, in the North of Bristol in a five mile corridor between the university of the West of England and the, um, Bristol bus part. We’re putting 200, um, IOT, uh, sensors, thousands of, uh, of receivers, thousands of sensors to create a public, um, test bed for companies to come and experiment with the new five G technology, the new industrial IOT technology. Um, we’re having a couple of, um, five G um, mass put on campus to be part of that. And that’s an initiative that the university is a part of together with the West of England, local authority and, um, Toshiba. So, um, hopefully gives you an insight to what is a very vibrant startup community. And I think you’re about to hear from two of those startups, uh, next,
Thomas Andersson: (45:47)
Thanks Mark, um, it would be kind to come down and have a look at some of your startups at some point, um, with that, uh, I want to hand over to, uh, one of the incubator popups, which is, um, Indus four and Arthur is the founder, I believe. Over to you Arthur.
Arthur Keeling: (46:06)
Wonderful. Thank you very much. And thank you very much for inviting us to join this London tech advocates and for the talks evening, I’d like to introduce you to Indus four. And just for a start speaking about automation, like to briefly just speak about economics very quickly. And the last 10 years have been about as bad as it gets for UK productivity. And it’s had a really detrimental effects on the living standards for almost everyone within this country. And this has been true across the West. This is a chart from Deloitte showing American productivity, where generations, since the war have been able to expect a higher living standard than their parents until almost the financial crash where that has been net zero growth and productivity. And the fourth industrial revolution was promised as the solution to help uplift this with new innovations and new technologies. However, as we all know, coronavirus has made the future certainly, uh, uncertain.
Arthur Keeling: (47:05)
And we don’t quite know what lays ahead of us now. And productivity looks uncertain now for that’s for sure, but going on towards a nation, we know automation works as we’ve seen from a few people that idea, but we believe it’s inflexible expensive and complex for most companies out there. And it only really likes works, but larger enterprises and people who’ve got mass production requirements. We believe to have a sort of an end to end supply chain that is fit for purpose automation, robots, X needs to be much more widely used, and he’s be easiest to use, but also be offered with a different business model.
Arthur Keeling: (47:44)
That’s why we’ve created system INX. This is our cyber-physical operating system real time, it’s web native edge enabled, and it’s vision aware. We also have an open design so that we’re able to work with third parties and other vendors. And that enables us to increase what we’re able to do as a business. We also have the latest technologies and flow programming that we’re using and using the internet of things, not just to stop data, but to make that data actually useful for people, but also machines do use on the shop floor. And we worked really hard to ensure that we’ve got flexible deployments of our systems. This means working with organizations large and small, whether they’re doing with discreet or batch manufacturing processes and enabling them to also use it, we’re also using machine learning and AI to ensure that we’re pushing the technology forward and keeping it on the absolute cutting edge whilst trying to deliver the best technology of people.
Arthur Keeling: (48:43)
And finally, I think keep ourselves, given the range of robotic arms out there we’re agnostic. So each arm is there to do different functions and some have different roles, and we want to work with lots of them. So we’re able to deliver a wide reaching service and this, we believe the collision of the cyber and physical worlds that we are looking forward to in the future. Just like to say, thanks very much for inviting us to talk. And if anyone has any questions, after would like to speak to please get in touch and thank you to London tech advocate again.
Thomas Andersson: (49:17)
Excellent. Thanks again Arthur Um, with that, um, last but not the least Snir Benedek from Benedex, um, over to you Snir.
Snir Benedek: (49:29)
Thank you very, very much. Alright. So, um, thanks for the opportunity. Um, hi everyone. My name is, um, Snir. I’m the founder of the Benedex, uh, we’re a young smart company in the UK developing a market leading disruptive propulsion concept from and robotics. Now thousands of robots are being designed as we speak the market for, uh, unmanned platforms will estimate it to be about $3 billion in the beginning of 2020, and is believed to be on a sharp growth strength, um, due to COVID-19. We seek to boost the strands. We want to make high end robotics, more accessible to everyone. Every mobile platform that is made is made for a function for a certain function. Every robots developers are experts on the payload
Snir Benedek: (50:28)
That does the function the robot is supposed to do, but they are not motion experts. Why then does the wheel get needlessly invented for every new robot that gets rolled out at this? We will call the problem Bendex introduces in, in an industry changing solution. Our patent pending system is made of a varying number of motorized wheels, which is the drive train with a pre-program central controller. It can be physically reconfigured. So it connects to every platform, allowing robot creators to focus on what their machine actually does and not on engineering. The motion, the benedex system fits a huge range of applications because it is modular. It is easy to use, and it is built for endurance and performance. The wheels adjust in this case, just 22 centimeters, big the wheels, each individual wheel weighs four kilos, but it supports each one supports up to 200 kilos of load outputting, 50 kilos of thrust, which is 1500 Watts.
Snir Benedek: (51:38)
And the turning speeds up to 25 kilometers an hour. This outfit is absolutely unique in the market and it will outperform any competing solution. Currently, everything is direct drive. There are no gears, so you’ll be getting the highest power efficiency and reliability. Unlike others, our solutions are made to operate anywhere in an all terrains, unlocking new possibilities for smaller developers and research facilities. In this example, our harsh environment version includes active cooling, so to sustain high, higher power output for longer periods of time, we have pretty much redefined flexibility to make new designs possible. Our wheels attach externally and conform to your design, your payload size and your shape. Our system contributes to cleaner, greener, sustainable transportation. The solution levels, the playing field for developers of mobile platforms. And with it, vehicle development becomes easier, cheaper, and faster. We are now rolling out the first prototypes and we’re looking for proof of concept collaboration, partners. Would you like to try our, uh, project, uh, with, uh, our system with your project, or if you’re just interested to learn more, drop us an email, come say hello. We’re interested to collaborate with, um, AGV with robot builders. Um, and this is the best time. Um, so contact us today. Thank you very, very much.
Thomas Andersson: (53:17)
Excellent. Uh, thanks for that Snir. Um, now have, uh, the opportunity to do a quick
Thomas Andersson: (53:26)
Q and a, some questions I’ve seen a few people have posted a few questions, and if we can answer those, that’d be great. Uh, first of all, if you want to participate in any future TLA robotics webinar, um, contact us on, uh, T L a .email@example.com. Um, we’ll respond to you as quick as we can. Um, there’s open to, um, companies from all over Europe, UK as well. Um, some, do we have any specific questions that quite or any generic questions? I mean, that’s quite a few of the specific questions for each of the panelists, which I think each of the panelists will respond to, um, in writing as we go along. Um, unless, unless we have any specific questions for, for us, um, you are more than welcome to contact any of the, uh, uh, present presenters, uh, through the email as well as I was, uh, on the front.
Thomas Andersson: (54:46)
Um, that will go, we have one question there that will say the question for Bendex. I’m sure you can reach back to those guys. Well, with that, I want to just, um, thank all the participants then for, for your, um, great presentations. Um, and, uh, yeah, let’s keep in touch. You can follow us on LinkedIn, um, that we have the real interesting question from Mike. Um, perhaps that would be a question for Mark on the two startups pops, even the Inova center, what is the most significant barrier robotic startup faces in the UK? Um, any, any answers, any takers for that?
Mark Corderoy: (55:37)
I think that they have all the problems of ordinary starts up software startups, but they also have that problem of hardware and software startup. They tend to, as they grow the first four or five people, almost clones of the early founders who are writing code and things like that, quite often, a software startup, the first five or six startup people are completely different skill sets, you know, mechatronics, electronics embedded systems, full stack developers, and you need access to resources and money. That most people realizes is never easy to come by.
Thomas Andersson: (56:24)
Any of the startups, perhaps Henry perhaps you’ve
Henry Wood: (56:29)
I, I sort of okay, well, Mark says really. I think one of the big challenges we’ve found is that to get, to get to a commercial MVP that you can actually sell to a customer can be a huge, huge amount of development work with hardware, whether with software product, you know, you can often string together an MVP using, uh, existing, uh, existing code and, and in a sort of very light framework. Um, and start, I’m not saying there isn’t a huge amount of work to do with the software product to get it fully featured, but you can often get an earlier MVP, I think, with a hardware business. I mean, with, with our arm, until you’ve got four at least six joints or surveilling and high precision, you basically have no useful functional functionality to anyone. So there’s, I mean, we’ve, we’ve spent several years and several million pounds just getting to a first product that’s really got any value to anyone. So this huge funding gap that you’ve got to get over with a hardware business.
Thomas Andersson: (57:32)
Okay. Um, we also had a question about the long iterative development. Um, I think you kind of answered that and henry at some point as well. Um, any of the other startups from my Bristol robotics lab once, um, answer a few questions there on,
Philip English: (57:52)
Yeah, I would certainly echo Henry’s points of it is exceptionally challenging when you’re dealing with customers where, uh, you cannot just put an arm or a system into play because sadly, a bug or an error there cost quite real money. If you’re working with a supplier and you’re handling goods to them. And as when things go wrong, things go wrong in the real world seems to have a much bigger impact on the companies than a small software glitch. Uh, if it was an app or something like that, which does add to the problems and then hiring such a diverse talent base from vision to hardware to electronics does also present challenges as well, which I think software companies probably don’t face in the same way. And it’s nice to sort of see things like TNA robotics coming through to so hopefully raise awareness of that, but also you hopefully break down some of those barriers that robots Excel, that we face.
Thomas Andersson: (58:46)
Okay. That’s also one question about how we intend to raise awareness of, um, what will TLA do to influence technology adoption in industry? Um, technology adoption is we’re just a small part of that. We want to, uh, improve, um, I’ll say adoption of automation and robotics in particular, but then as loads of other, uh, technology involved, um, the main, um, actions we will take is to, first of all, create networking events. We will do our best to invite, uh, the best or the most interesting startups which we see now present, but we’ll also, um, uh, invite people from government, from academia, from, from people actually use robotics as well. So I’ve seen a few people who have signed on who are part of robotics users, um, and hopefully potential for robotics users as well. Um, I hope that answers that and we’re hoping to create more interesting events in the future as we go along as well. Um, and the other questions to the panelists, seven questions by NHL. So,
Thomas Andersson: (01:00:04)
Nope. So with that, um, I think that’s it. If you have any further questions you want to reach out to any of the panelists, um, the, um, I hope the email is on the screen right now, uh, email to us. And we will forward that to either of the panelists, if you’ve got their details for didn’t catch any of your details. Um, so we can connect you from that with that, uh, I want to say extend a big, thank you to all the presenters, all the companies that we had here and, um, have a really good, uh, continued warm evening in London now.
All panelist: (01:00:38)
Thanks Thomas. Well done. Thanks everyone. Thanks very much. Thanks. Thank you. Thank you.
TLA Robotics: https://www.techlondonadvocates.org.uk/ Tech London Advocates Robotics: TLA Youtube Philip English: https://philipenglish.com/ Sponsor – Robot Center: http://www.robotcenter.co.uk