Sevensense is a startup project that was being accelerated at Wyss Zurich from 2018 to 2021.
Service robots have the potential to drastically increase efficiency in various industries by taking over repetitive tasks. However, the abilities of such systems are limited by today's navigation technologies.
Robots have become a crucial tool in many industries. Robotic manipulators are efficient at manufacturing and assembling all kinds of goods. Yet their use is limited to very constrained and static surroundings. The evolution of robotic tools for a broader range of applications requires more versatile technologies if they are to be used not only in highly structured factories, but also in more dynamic and busy environments that are shared with humans.
The fundamental technology needed to propel this evolution provides for autonomous mobility in unfamiliar and changing environments. It makes it possible to employ service robots in a wide range of applications, including industrial cleaning, material handling, delivery, surveillance and inspection.
Particularly in indoor spaces, where global positioning systems (GPS) are unavailable, the solutions currently on the market are either not sufficiently accurate or too expensive.
At Wyss Zurich, the Sevensense team developed solutions that enabled robots to measure their position with a high level of accuracy and to navigate precisely and safely in dynamic environments. Similar to the human eye and inner ear, these systems process images from cameras and an inertial measurement unit to construct a map of the surroundings and pinpoint their position on the map.
With the support of Wyss Zurich, Sevensense grew into a successful startup, creating Visual SLAM technology (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) that enables vehicles to navigate in challenging environments and allows for the implementation of novel applications. During the startup’s time at Wyss Zurich, the technology was bundled into an industry-ready product, a high-quality multi-camera system that can be installed in various types of mobile robots. This flexibility attracted customers and led to partnerships in a variety of industries, ranging from professional floor cleaning to material handling. Today, Sevensense’s autonomous technology drives numerous types of industrial machines and is at the core of innovative robotics solutions.
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Gregory Hitz joined Wyss Zurich in July 2018 as Project Leader of Sevensense. He is Co-Founder and CEO of the future startup company Sevensense Robotics AG. Gregory currently focusses on business and product development. Prior to joining Wyss Zurich, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) of ETH Zurich. During this engagement, he managed several research projects and industry collaborations in the area of controls, estimation and mapping. Gregory has received a PhD (2016) for his thesis on adaptive planning methods for autonomous robots and a master's degree with distinction in Mechanical Engineering (2011) from ETH Zurich.
Fabian Blöchliger joined Wyss Zurich in July 2018 as Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He ist Co-Founder of Sevensense Robotics AG, where he contributes to pushing the boundaries of high precision visual mapping. Fabian received his MSc degree in Robotics, Systems and Control from ETH Zurich in 2017. There, he focused on the application of real time computer vision systems on mobile robots. During his internship at senseFly (Lausanne), he gained experience in building robust and lightweight algorithms for embedded systems. Later, he worked at the Autonomous Systems Lab (ETH Zurich) as a research assistant.
Mathias Bürki joined Wyss Zurich in March 2020 as a Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He is Co-Founder of the Sevensense Robotics AG and part of the localization and mapping team devoted to enabling accurate and reliable positioning of the Sevensense robots. He earned his MSc in Robotics, System and Control at ETH Zurich in 2013, and his PhD with a focus on visual localization systems for outdoor environments at the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich in 2019. Prior to joining Wyss, Mathias had gained industrial experience as a software engineer at Holcim Ltd. and as a robotics engineer at Volkswagen Group Research in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Gianluca Cesari joined Wyss Zurich in July 2018 as Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He is Co-Founder of the Sevensense Robotics AG. Gianluca focuses on the product development of the autonomous navigation system. He earned his MSc in Robotics, Systems and Control at ETH Zurich in 2016. During his studies, Gianluca gained experience in industrial automation and specialized in control and path planning for autonomous mobile robots. Afterwards, Gianluca joined the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, where he contributed to the development of the obstacle detection sensors suit and navigation software for a professional service robot.
Renaud Dubé joined Wyss Zurich in October 2018 as Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He is Co-Founder of Sevensense Robotics AG, where he focuses on technology development for the localization and navigation systems. Renaud obtained his MSc in Electrical Engineering at the University of Sherbrooke in 2013. He is now completing his PhD at the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) at ETH Zurich in the field of real-time localization and mapping with 3D LiDAR sensors. Prior to joining ASL, Renaud obtained industry experience with companies such as Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bombardier Recreational Products, Robert Bosch GmbH and Daimler AG.
Marcin Dymcyk joined Wyss Zurich in February 2019 as a Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He is a Co-Founder of Sevensense Robotics AG, where he is primarily involved with the mapping and localization technologies used by the mobile platforms to identify their precise location. Marcin earned a master’s degree with distinction in electrical engineering from ETH Zurich, focusing on creating large-scale maps of the environment. Subsequently, he pursued a PhD in robotics and computer vision at ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab, where he was part of the project that brought large-scale crowd-sourced mapping to consumer devices. In addition, Marcin gained industrial experience at Google and WABCO as well as business expertise during several internships at EY and Boston Consulting Group.
Kevin Egger joined Wyss Zurich in July 2018 as Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He is Co-Founder of Sevensense Robotics AG. Kevin is focusing on software development in the area of visual-inertial mapping and localization. Kevin received his MSc in Robotics, Systems and Control at ETH Zurich in 2016. During his studies, he gained knowledge in visual SLAM and worked on collaborative localization of multiple different robotic systems. Afterwards, he joined the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, where he contributed a great part to the mapping and localization system Maplab.
Andreas joined Wyss Zurich in July 2018 as Robotics Engineer of the Sevensense project. He is Co-Founder of Sevensense Robotics AG, where he is currently focusing on the development of the localization and mapping system and additionally leading two industry collaborations of Sevensense. Andreas received his MSc in Robotics, Systems and Control at ETH Zurich in 2016. In his academic career, he gained knowledge in both vision and LiDAR based SLAM at the Autonomous Systems Lab (ETH Zurich) but also in Australia (CSIRO), Spain (CATEC) and Canada (ASRL). During his grad school, Andreas obtained industry experience at Trafag AG, where he worked as a part time employee in the process technology department.
Get to know the expanding team behind Sevensense – motivated to revolutionize the mobile robotics industry!