VAAK, a startup aims to create “Robots with empathy” through human behavior analysis by AI, won Honda Xcelerator CATAPULT (ICC KYOTO 2018) – 【ICC】INDUSTRY CO-CREATION

VAAK, a startup aims to create “Robots with empathy” through human behavior analysis by AI, won Honda Xcelerator CATAPULT (ICC KYOTO 2018)

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“Learning and Participating in Co-Creation Together”. Honda Xcelerator CATAPULT, sponsored by Honda R&D Innovations, was held during the second morning of “Extreme Conference” Industry Co-Creation (ICC) Summit KYOTO 2018 (4-6 Sep 2018).

The “Honda Xcelerator is Honda’s open innovation program, and the winner of “Honda Xcelerator Catapult” will be invited to this program.

8 startups mainly in the mobility and robotics fields gave their 7-minute pitches to a panel of judges from Honda’s various business divisions. According to the final verdict, “VAAK (Japanese) won the contest!

Please have a look at the video of the day itself (Japanese).

Results of Pitches

Winner

VAAK (Japanese), a startup aims to create “Robots with empathy” through human behavior analysis by AI.

2nd Place

MELTIN MMI (English), a research and development startup suggests “mobility cyborgs”, which can go anywhere and do anything.

3rd Place

Ory Laboratory (Japanese), a company develops avatar robots “OriHime”, which provides freedom of movement for everyone.

Special Prize (awarded by audience)

MELTIN MMI and OPTIMIND (Japanese),a startup that creates ‘last-mile’ delivery platform utilizing delivery route optimization technology and delivery robots.

List of Winning Startups and its Service

Winner: VAAK (Japanese), a startup aims to create “Robots with empathy” through human behavior analysis by AI

“VAAK” is a startup that utilizes AI in the analysis of human behavior from security camera videos. By analyzing over 100 points such as human clothing and joints, it can detect detailed change in motion and discern if there are hints of any suspicious, dangerous or abnormal behavior. With this technology, it would be possible to predict the subsequent actions of a person and calculate the probability of shoplifting.

In participating in the ”Honda Xcelerator”, VAAK seeks to combine its behavioral analysis technology with Honda’s robotics expertise to realize a world where robots that take care and aid people in their daily lives. The problem with conventional security cameras is their high cost in terms of large number of units as well as personnel monitoring the camera systems required.

VAAK seeks to solve this problem by working with the Honda 3E series, a communication robot concept that interacts and assimilates with other people in line with the idea of empathy – one such robot would patrol facilities and like security guards, it would allow the robot to gain data about other people’s emotions and expressions through behavioral analysis.

VAAK would works as the eyes for Honda 3E, thereby working as a security of facilities, shoplifting prevention and high quality customer service.

(Presenter)
Ryo Tanaka
VAAK / Official Page (Japanese)
CEO

2nd Place and Special Prize: MELTIN MMI (English), a research and development startup suggests “mobility cyborgs”, which can go anywhere and do anything

“MELTIN MMI” is a startup that aims to transcend the limits of the human body and release the creative potential through the pursuit of cyborg technology. MELTIN has two strengths; conducting analysis on the release of bio-electric signals called “Myoelectricity” which are released by the body when muscle movement occurs; and high-level packing technology that realize delicate yet robust movement of cyborg with high durability.

In the MELTIN’s cyborg concept called “MELTANT – α”, it is possible to remotely operate the human-like “hand” with ultra-low delay. It possesses flexibility, speed, power, durability and portability such that it can make complex movements and even become another “body” on its own to explore anywhere in the world.

The potential market of MELTANT would be dangerous work environments where conditions are extreme and risks are high, such as outer space, or situations that require remote operations such as when emergency medical attention is needed. The successor to MELTANT – α, is scheduled to be introduced in the market in 2021, and MELTANT-II is scheduled to begin operations in such hazardous operations in 2023.

By combining MELTANT’s technology and HONDA’s mobility technology in making vehicles such as motorcycles and aircraft that are highly durable in outdoor environments, MELTIN hopes to that MELTANT can help society achieve the possibilities of going to any place to do anything.

(Presenter)
Masahiro [Mark] Kasuya
MELTIN MMI / Official Page (English)
CEO

3rd Place: Ory Laboratory (Japanese), a company develops avatar robots “OriHime”, which provides freedom of movement for everyone

“Ory Laboratory” aims to solve the psychological challenges of loneliness felt by people – such as elderly who live alone, caregivers, students who stop going to school due to illnesses or children who have been hospitalized – through developing a remote-control robot called “OriHime”.

In addition to “OriHime” which helps people who face difficulties going out or travelling, there is another robot called “NIN-NIN”, that can be attached to the individual’s shoulder, providing support to the visually disabled or foreign tourists seeking tourist information remotely.

In this pitch, Ory Laboratory proposed mounting “OriHime” on a bike while travelling to various places, in the spirit of having a more enriching traveling experience with a travel partner.

(Presenter)
Kentaro Yoshifuji
Ory Laboratory / Official Page (Japanese)
CEO

Special Prize: OPTIMIND (Japanese),a startup that creates ‘last-mile’ delivery platform utilizing delivery route optimization technology and delivery robots

“OPTIMIND” is a tech venture from Nagoya University that seeks to ‘Revolutionize Logistics’ through its own data-mapping system by consolidating data from various sources of information from delivery companies such as road width, one-way streets, spaces with parking permissions etc. to enhance ‘last-mile’ delivery services.

Its SaaS service, ‘Loogia’, employs the company’s expertise in data optimization and machine learning, to map out complex routes – in the order of ‘which vehicle to use, which destination to reach, which route to take’ – specifically for companies engaged in complex delivery services or services that require daily route-planning.

In this pitch, OPTIMIND proposed merging together vehicle and route data Honda can obtain with OPTIMIND’s optimization algorithm and delivery mapping system to create a whole new last-mile delivery infrastructure. In the future, OPTIMIND also presented that it hopes to work with partners to eventually develop home-delivery robot vehicles.

(Presenter)
Ken Matsushita
OPTIMIND Official Page (Japanese)
CEO

Awarded Ceremony

(End)

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ICCパートナーズ

ICCパートナーズ

ICCパートナーズ(ICC Partners Inc.)は産業を共に創る経営者・経営幹部のためのコミュニティ型カンファレンス「Industry Co-Creation サミット/ICCサミット」の企画・運営および新規事業創出・アライアンスなどのアドバイザー業務を行っています。