Jumpstarter 2017 robotics semi-pitch winners Bubble, Inovo Robotics and The Chinese University of Hong Kong offer unique robo-solutions that will improve our quality of life.
Making life better for humanity was the dominant theme at the second Jumpstarter 2017 semi-pitch event, held at Hong Kong Science Park on 6 June. The three teams selected to enter the final round each offered their own version of a futuristic robot that will serve the needs of a 21st century society.
Bubble, a robotic retail kiosk, will let customers order a tailor-made beverage – choosing from various teas, bubble teas and even cocktails – at the push of a button. Customers will select the ingredients and the robot kiosk will do the rest: mixing, pouring and sealing the container in under a minute – serving people quickly and avoiding bothersome queues.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Neurorehabilitation and Robotics Laboratory pitched a rehab-related idea: a soft robotic hand that will boost recovery in stroke patients.
Prof. Raymond Tong explained how his team’s lightweight and flexible invention, custom-made for individual patients through 3D printing, will give recovering stroke patients better motor control than the current heavy metal robo-hands used in rehabilitation. It will also be affordable, costing roughly the same as an iPhone.
The big idea for Jonathan Cheung, CEO of Inovo Robotics, was to help SMEs and batch manufacturers save labour costs and overcome their “resistance to robotics”. His team’s creation is “the first ‘plug-and-play’ modular robot arm designed for the needs of batch producers”. Users take long or short modular sections and plug them together to create an arm that performs specialised tasks for a particular job; then reconfigure the robot for the next task.
Mr Cheung, feeling “fantastic” after being selected, knew going in that his team had a solid idea, but was not sure they would finish in the top three: “there were lots of applicable technologies and lots of good outfits here … the type of industry we are aiming for is not as accessible to people though.” In spite of his doubts, the judges had no hesitation picking his pitch as a winner.
The audience also got to vote for their favourite pitch, selecting Maker Online, a virtual robotics learning platform that allows students to learn, build and create their own robots online.
What’s next for the winners? Ahead of the November’s final, Mr Cheung plans to “focus on our core plan and see how it goes. It’s a great opportunity so we’ll take it as it comes.”
The next Jumpstarter 2017 semi-pitch event, Wearables/IoT/EduTech, will be held at Cyberport on 27 July.
Video of Jumpstarter 2017 Robotics Semi Pitch
Startup Pitch! (by the sequence of on-stage presentation)
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Finalist)
- Bubble (Finalist)
- Maker Online (Most Favorable Startup)
- Rocky Moon Dynamics
- AgRobot – Faming Robot
Panel Feedback: Jumpstart & Beyond
Award Presentation: Robotics Semi Pitch