04 April 2022
The first round of Hello Mentor has been completed
- International talent
Gijs Dubbelman became enamored with artificial intelligence during his studies. Fifteen years later, as co-founder and CTO of AIIM (AI in Motion), he is still busy working every day on making systems more intelligent. "At AIIM, we develop flexible and robust systems that are able to perceive and anticipate their environment."
During his research for the Mobile Perception Systems lab which he himself leads at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, the Netherlands), Dubbelman has noticed that the technology is often so mature that it no longer needs any more scientific research. "But it’s also not the case that there is a ready-made product. We jumped into that void with AIIM three years ago."
The start-up is a spin-off from the investor Navinfo Europe (a company specializing in digital maps for the automotive industry) and TU/e. That Dubbelman likes the fact that he is able to put his scientific research directly into practice at AIIM at the TU/e. "Universities are very transparent; we publish all of our research results. You can see how companies make use of them and how they benefit from them too. That's great, of course, but we can also benefit from AIIM now."
Dubbelman cites robot automation in warehouses as an example. "The robots are already there, but we are making them smarter. Most AGVs driving around now do so over fixed routes and are programmed down to the last millimeter. Essentially, they're pretty dumb systems," says Dubbelman. "As soon as something goes wrong, everything grinds to a halt."
AIIM supplies the software to the AGV manufacturer, who ultimately sells the robots to the end customer. "For both AIIM and the AGV manufacturer, it is still very much a question of how much the end customer is willing to pay for a new generation of automatic AGVs," says Dubbelman. In addition, the end customer also needs to gain confidence in the AI technology.
"A huge challenge," Dubbelman points out. "A company is not going to invest millions if it is not sure whether the technology is 100 percent reliable. So, together with our partners, we have to run several projects to prove that our technology works. That can't be done without subsidies. Therefore, it is extremely important to establish connections with national and European subsidy projects. Brainport is an important link in this process."