Founders of ANYbotics invested ten years in research at the ETH Zurich from which they acquired expertise, Intellectual Property and later established a qualified team who applied their know-how in the development of their flagship product ANYmal.
ANYmal is a four-legged robot designed to interact and operate autonomously in any environment. The robot can be employed to run tasks in different settings for instance in industrial indoor or outdoor facilities for inspection and manipulation tasks; in natural terrain or debris areas for search and rescue tasks; or on stage for animation and entertainment. Its four legs, give the robot flexibility to crawl, walk, run, dance, jump or climb.
Thanks to these capabilities, ANYbotics has seen growing demand for its fully functional prototype. The startup has clients from the academic field – such as the University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, and University of Leeds – and companies within the ANYmal Research collaboration. The early commercialization of its ANYmal prototype has enabled the startup to maintain its cash inflow and provides valuable feedback regarding market needs.
Recently, the transmission system operator TenneT employed ANYmal for a one-week offshore pilot-installation on the North Sea. TenneT connects large-scale offshore wind farms to the onshore grid over a high voltage DC connection. The company adopts most recent technologies to ensure reliable and low-cost energy transmission and distribution. With ANYmal these objectives could be fulfilled. The robot was equipped with a customized sensor-head to perform inspection tasks of the platform (as presented in the video below) making it the world’s first autonomous offshore robot. For ANYbotics, this deployment was a key milestone because its robot could demonstrate its capabilities and versatility.
ANYbotics attributes its success to various factors. Peter Fankhauser, Chief business development officer and co-founder, says, “We started the basic research in legged robotics at ETH almost ten years ago. Funding the company with this amount of expert knowledge, IP, and a proven team has allowed us to jump into the commercialization aspects very quickly”.
The startup also benefits from the infrastructure and financial support from Wyss Zurich. “Within Wyss Zurich, we were able to grow from a small founders’ team coming from research to a structured company with soon 30 employees within two years”, added Fankhauser.
The startup continues to advance its product in preparation for commercialization in the near future.