Re-creating Autonomous, Technology-Driven Future
A passionate technology leader, Kenneth Richard Geipel started his career in the Danish Armed forces, where he received the Armed Forces Appreciation for the Extraordinary Service during his first deployment and became the youngest Corporal in the Danish Army. He went on to pursue an exciting career for new technologies after studying Robotics. A staunch believer that AI, Robotics, and drones remain at the core of a better tomorrow, he co-founded Robotto, a multi award winning start up. Excerpts from an interview with Kenneth:
Conception of Robotto
Robotto is pioneering the future of drone capabilities to create impactful, edge-computing, and autonomous decision-making systems for a variety of use cases. Its unique technology combines Artificial Intelligence and Robotics to create a positive change in the future of autonomous technology.
Kenneth remembers that Robotto was conceptualized by a group of nerdy friends who were passionate about Robotics and AI. “What began as a bachelor thesis in 2018, went on to create a collaboration with the Danish Emergency Management Agency and created a proof-of-concept for a drone that autonomously could search for fire and map the data in real time. Which also led to publishing of two peer-reviewed scientific articles.”
Kenneth and the group of founders, like everyone else, saw the destruction that were coming with the evolving climate. “We knew that the technology already exists that can help firefighters with one of the deadliest symptoms of the climate crisis, namely wildfires. We wanted to prove to the world, that AI and robotics are not just something inconceivable or for manufacturing. It can dramatically help in the toughest of situations.” With autonomous smart drones, powered by edge-level AI, Robotto are providing incident commanders with real-time data on size, location, direction, and local weather for wildfires, adds Kenneth.
Undermining the importance of Applied AI, Kenneth says that it will have a tremendous impact in not only our internal supply chains and how our manufacturing is being performed, but that it will dramatically increase the chances of costumer success. “By bridging the gap between the digital and physical world, limiting human bias while providing the consumer options for customized product.”
Robotics – Advantages
Noting that robotics can empower all levels of society and can be a major driver in controlling the climate crisis, the entrepreneur adds that by empowering firefighters with robotics in these deadly out-of-control situations, Robotto is trying to inspire others to join their cause. “We are saving between 50% to 70% of the man-hours being used in wildfire operations. Furthermore saving 60% of the land that otherwise would have been burned, and thereby 60% of the CO2 and other particle emissions. AWRA, our Autonomous Wildfire Recognition and Analytics platform, allows drones to not only identify wildfires, but with edge-computing calculate the position, size, direction, as well as local weather information.” Since all data is processed on the drone, fire maps will be created instantly, and updated three times a second. The drone also operates day and night and in areas covered in smoke.
AI – Challenges Galore
“I think that we need to come to a common ground on what we call AI, and perhaps what we call the different fields of AI. What we have seen in our journey is that currently AI is being used as a buzzword, and often confused with simple algorithms that have a certain behavior. We risk confusing our costumers and downplaying the potential of what AI could deliver.”
For this technology enthusiast, inclusion, trust, and communication play a pivotal role. “Include your co-workers in the current process you’re in at your company and dare to delegate tasks to others in your organization without your involvement. But offer support and guidance if it’s needed. Here at Robotto we are going forward because everyone is contributing with ideas. I think the most important thing is communication. Especially if it’s a tech startup, communication on how this will benefit end users is key. And not about the specific architecture or features of the product.”
“Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses” warns Kenneth. “Early on, I saw it as a weakness if I had to ask people for help on something, I wasn’t good at. And there’s a lot of things I’m not good at. So, it meant long hours and sleepless nights trying to go through it myself when all I had to do was ask for help” he signs off.