Angsa Robotics has won the overall prize in the Galileo Masters 2020 with “Clive,” Germany’s first autonomous trash collection robot, which collects small pieces of rubbish left on grass or gravel that would otherwise cause ecological and economic problems.
Thanks to its unique artificial neural network architecture, “Clive” can move independently while detecting and localising individual objects, which enables it to clean grass and gravel areas. Individual objects such as bottle caps or cigarette butts are targeted for collection but insects are spared, in a win-win solution for the environment. Since conventional sweeping machines are designed for flat asphalt surfaces, they are unsuitable for these types of surfaces, so these surfaces have typically had to be cleaned manually.
“Clive” also creates an economic benefit for its customers. Its target use cases include the cleaning of festival venues after events and the daily cleaning of parks and other green spaces. Precise localisation via GNSS is essential to its operation: With better localisation, the robot can plan a more efficient path and clean a given area faster.
“Angsa Robotics is combining precise GNSS localisation with further state-of-the art techniques such as artificial intelligence and robotics. Its innovative solution is an impressive reflection of what the Agency was looking for with its three challenges in this year’s edition of Galileo Masters: forward-thinking applications of space for future generations,” European GNSS Agency (GSA) Executive Director Rodrigo da Costa said at the digital Space Awards.
After winning both the GSA Space for Our Planet Challenge and the Galileo Prize Bavaria, Angsa Robotics was presented with a EUR 10,000 cash prize as the Overall Winner of Galileo Masters 2020, having beat out 23 other challenge and prize winners. In addition, the pioneering start-up was selected as one of the winners of the Galileo Incubation Programme, which includes an incubation and acceleration prize package worth up to EUR 62,000.
The winners of the Galileo Masters 2020 international innovation competition were announced during the online Space Awards on 8 December as part of European Space Week 2020. Seventeen winners selected by the Galileo Prize Partners had the chance to present their ideas to an international audience at a Space Pitches session at EUSW on 7 December.
EGNSS driving innovation
European GNSS and the accurate, highly reliable positioning data it delivers is an essential element in the uptake of autonomous vehicles such as cars, drones, or robots. Autonomous vehicles are already a growing segment in the transport and automotive sector, in urban air mobility, and in the drone market.
By combining GNSS with on-board sensors and systems such as cameras, radar, or inertial sensors, robotic applications are also being developed for the construction, manufacturing, maintenance, monitoring, and the healthcare and household sectors. Satellite navigation data provides the accuracy, integrity, reliability, and availability required to operate autonomous vehicles.
Global innovation network for Galileo
Galileo Masters’ network of 101 partners from 18 countries focuses on the regional implementation of the competition to ensure a high level of diversity while enhancing both job growth potential and regional development opportunities. The competition’s backbone consists of 17 Prize Partners that are involved in specific areas at the local level, providing participants with valuable support in launching their businesses across Europe.
“Galileo Masters has given a significant boost to the rise of the GNSS industry in Europe,” said AZO CEO Thorsten Rudolph. “The top 100 companies that have grown out of the innovative ideas of more than 13,000 Galileo Masters participants since 2004 have created more than 3,300 jobs and generated EUR 178 million in total turnover in 2019. In recent years, these companies have also raised around EUR 524 million in venture capital.”
By fostering entrepreneurs and start-ups, Galileo Masters’ long-term objective is to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness with high-tech space solutions on a global scale. This was why the European Commission established Europe’s unique Galileo Incubation programme for the top six winners of Galileo Masters. For the fourth time, this programme will offer the year’s winners access to dedicated incubation services (worth up to EUR 372,000 in total) at their preferred incubation centre in the Europe-wide Galileo Masters network.
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