From idea to product through an efficient innovation system

With broad expertise and an extensive network Robotdalen supports new robotics and technology solutions, from concept to products ready for the market. Through the operations in the three counties of Södermanland, Västmanland and Örebro several products have seen the light of day.

The basic requirements are as numerous and diverse as the number of ideas. For Peter Stany, who is in charge of Robotdalen’s innovation support, it is important to identify each project's specific needs at an early stage.

- We are very flexible and open to many ideas. One of the main conditions is that there is an individual or a company that wants to run its project with support from us, and that there is a real need from end user or customer. Another requirement is of course that it also has fit into one of our three core areas of technology solutions for industrial, healthcare or field and service robotics.

He describes Robotdalen’s support for innovation as a key link in the development of a commercial product within robotics and welfare technology. The support, among other things, is consistent of help to analyze the market and development needs, as well as to contribute with expertise and resources. Robotdalen’s partners and extensive network constitutes a knowledgeable and strong expertise foundation. Robotdalen is part of an effective innovation system where multiple actors are involved and interact. This includes, for example, Almi, Business Sweden, incubators and science parks, the regions’ municipal and county-run test beds and Mälardalen Industrial Technology Center, among others.

- In connection with each authentication step for each project, we put together small and flexible teams which analyze and look at how the work will move forward, Peter explains. It is important that the projects have commercial potential, therefore we involve customers or end-users from the outset.

A good example is the assistive eating device Bestic, which has gone through the entire process from idea to product, with support from Robotdalen.

- The support which we have received throughout the development phase has meant a lot to us, says Catharina Borgenstierna, CEO of Bestic AB. Robotdalen helped us establish contact with product designers at Mälardalen University at an early stage. The designers developed the neat and functional design that is appreciated by many users today. We have also received assistance in the form of clinical studies and market research. Additionally they put us in touch with Eskilstuna Elektronikpartner AB, which manufactures and assembles the circuit boards in Bestic.

Another example is the inspection and search robot FUMO, which has also gone through the entire innovation system with help from Robotdalen. Thomas Eriksson, creator of the FUMO and CEO of AB Realisator Robotics, came in contact with the organization for the first time in 2010. FUMO was still at the conceptual stage back then.

- Through Robotdalen’s quick decision making and handling we started to work on the first prototype pretty quickly. There is a great expertise in robotics and continuity within their whole innovation system. Through the years we have gained great support, both financially and with networking. Robotdalen plays an important role in the innovation society of Sweden and it is a strength to belong to their network, says Thomas Eriksson.

It is important to Robotdalen to get a fully functional product out on to the market, for the end user’s benefit and in order to meet a real need. Several new products are in the pipeline, including hygiene robot Poseidon, the mobile vehicle Tek RMD, and various applications for the industry.

(Photos: Bestic och FUMO. Top photo: Peter Stany, Robotdalen's Innovation Driver, photo: Tomas Jansohn)

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