Established as a joint research and development center of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, through a USD 120 million donation from Hansjörg Wyss, Wyss Zurich has one primary goal: to accelerate the process translating science discoveries into practical application. For startups that have already accomplished their basic research, the support from Zurich comes in at the time when they need it most; namely, before they are trapped in the «valley of death».
Since its foundation in 2014, Wyss Zurich now counts 16 startups in its portfolio of which 12 receive financial support while four are associate startups that benefit from infrastructure provided by the center. To-date, two startups have completed the program, five are conducting clinical trials, and others are in progress.
Recently two robotics startups embarked on a new journey with Wyss Zurich.
Seervision is a Zurich based startup whose solution stems from years of research at ETH Zurich’s automatic control laboratory. The startup developed the "Adaptive Motion Control" technology, which uses state-of-the-art video analysis algorithms for real-time object recognition and scene segmentation. The solution enables video producers to set up multiple-cameras, which collaborate and operate autonomously to execute tasks that are traditionally handled by camera crews. Early this year, Seervision conducted its first field-test at #digital21 where the team received substantial feedback. The startup will further advance its solution during its stay at Wyss Zurich.
In addition to the Seervision’s funds from external investors, and from Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument, the startup receives financial support from Wyss Zurich to accelerate the development of its software and to conduct further test studies with clients.
Sevensense for service robotsSeervision joined the robotics startup, Sevensense that was enrolled at Wyss Zurich in July. Sevensense is developing a localisation system for indoor environments to enable professional service robots to measure their position with a high level of accuracy and to navigate precisely and safely in dynamic environments such as in indoor spaces, where global positioning systems (GPS) are unavailable.
Similar to the human eye and inner ear, these system processes images from cameras and an inertial measurement unit to construct a map of the surroundings and pinpoint their position on the map With this technology, service robots can now be employed in a wide range of applications, including industrial cleaning, material handling, delivery, surveillance and inspection.
Wetrok, one of the largest providers of professional cleaning solutions, has developed a professional scrubber dryer robot that is equipped with Sevensense technology. While at Wyss Zurich, the startup will advance this technology to extend its applicability across other industries.