Bota Systems wins CHF 150,000 for enabling robots to better interact with humans
St. Gallen/Zurich/Lausanne, October 16, 2020 — Bota Systems addresses the growing need for robotic systems that can safely work in a dynamic environment and close to humans: The startup equips robotic systems with force sensing to feel and shape interactions with their environment. Bota Systems’ sensing solution can be integrated into a range of robotic systems—including robotic manipulators, inspection drones, surgical robots, or autonomous excavators. The Zurich-based startup was founded in March 2020 and will use the CHF 150,000 Venture Kick funding to promoting and expanding the product portfolio.
It is expected that more than half a million industrial robots are going to collaborate with humans by 2023. In contrast to existing solutions, robots that interact with or near humans require tactile and force-controllable systems. With the growing need for robotic systems that can safely work in a dynamic environment, machines must be equipped with force sensing to feel and shape the interaction with their surroundings. However, until today, even the best available solutions are unreliable, bulky, and expensive.
Bota Systems aims to contribute toward accessibility in automation by developing a state-of-the-art sensing solution for safer interactions between humans and machines. Founded by Klajd Lika (CEO), Ilias Patsiaouras (CTO), and Marco Hutter (scientific advisor), the startup has developed an innovative plug-and-play force-sensing solution that is scalable and modular. Bota Systems’ solution can be integrated into any robotic system that requires sensing the interaction force with their environment, such as service and household robots, robot-assisted surgery systems, or manufacturing robots.
Bota Systems expects to enter and capture a big share of a market that will grow five times and reach up to USD 5 billion by 2025. Examples of customers are integrators and operators of manufacturing robots, robot-assisted surgery platforms, rehabilitation devices, or autonomous excavators. Several companies and laboratories—including the EPFL Robotics Lab, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of California—have ordered and are using Bota Systems’ sensors. The startup is also supported by ESA BIC Switzerland to develop further applications for the space industry.
The next steps for Bota Systems include bringing awareness to its product portfolio and launching a new product in early 2021. Venture Kick will support Bota Systems’ plans for marketing and fundraising to scale the business and achieve international growth. “Besides its financial support, Venture Kick connected us with a large network of business experts in the Swiss startup ecosystem. We were also able to attend business workshops and have intensive training with experienced professionals free of charge, which is much needed for our startup to create a business mindset,” said Klajd Lika, CEO of Bota Systems.
About Venture Kick
The philanthropic initiative Venture Kick provides up to CHF 150,000 in seed funding to Swiss startups. In addition, it offers a well-structured entrepreneurial path towards building a winning business. Startups pitch to expert juries at three stages to obtain funding, gaining direct feedback, and access to an international network of successful entrepreneurs and investors.
Since its launch in 2007, Venture Kick has supported 700 Swiss startup projects with CHF 30 million. The program of financial support, training, and network has led to the creation of 519 companies and 7,000 jobs. Venture Kick alumni companies have attracted a total of CHF 3.5 billion and represent 54 companies ranked in the TOP 100 Swiss Startups 2020.
In 2020, Venture Kick will pay out CHF 5 million to idea-stage startup projects to bring Swiss science to global markets. More information in the Venture Kick annual report.
The Venture Kick Foundation is supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Hauser-Stiftung, André Hoffmann, Hansjörg Wyss, Martin Haefner, Igor Fisch, Fondation Pro Techno, ESA BIC Switzerland, Engagement Migros, and Swisscom.
Find more information on venturekick.ch, with all startup projects supported by Venture Kick, and follow the success stories of our startups on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.