In May, Qualcomm teamed up with Techstars to launch the first Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, a program that fosters the growth of 10 robotics start-ups. Four months later, Demo Day has arrived and the companies are pitching their products to over 400 investors, robotics leaders, mentors, and press.
The 10 companies—Reach Robotics, CleverPet, Solenica, Carbon Robotics, Skysense, SkyFront, Inova Drone, Muse Robotics, Rational Robotics, and CtrlWorks—have products that range from drone technology to gaming to pet companions. During the Accelerator program, they were taken under the collective Qualcomm and Techstars wing, and given an initial investment of up to $120,000, workspace on the Qualcomm campus, and invaluable mentorship from robotics leaders and Qualcomm executives.
“We loved the community of mentors that Qualcomm made available to us,” said a spokesperson from Reach Robotics, one of the companies that is bringing robotic gaming to life by integrating Qualcomm Vuforia mobile vision platform into its product. “Not only were they extremely helpful, but they helped us figure out how to overcome technical product challenges.” At CES 2016, the company plans to demonstrate how Qualcomm WiPower is wireless charging technology used in its battling robots.
Other start-ups, like Carbon Robotics and CtrlWorks, worked with the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor platform and are at various stages of developing the processors as “applications processors” to perform specific tasks. For Carbon Robotics, that means transforming the graphical user interface and robot training controller. For CtrlWorks, Snapdragon processors will provide visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), cloud connectivity, and robot control.
“The Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator space has felt like this amazing crucible of innovation,” said Cleverpet, a company that is revolutionizing pet care and training by providing companionship when pet owners are away for the day. “At a place that’s humming 24/7, this is where the future is happening fast.”
Inova Drone, which focuses on acquiring data for search and rescue applications using drones, is the primary company interested in an upcoming Qualcomm SoM board (stay tuned for details). The start-up plans to use the board for telemetry, flight communications and control, and high-resolution visual data processing.
“The people—all of the amazing connections and interactions in the program, all of the support, the new lifelong friends that were made, new mentors gained. This is the best part of the Accelerator,” Inova Drone said.
Some more cool news...
Check out what was unveiled just prior to the kick off of Demo Day here!