A groundbreaking innovation group joined us this year at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES). E-Novia is an innovation company that inserts robotics and AI into everything they do. Our guests include Ivo Boniolo, Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of E-Novia, Fabio Todeschini from BluBrake, Roberto Rossi from Smart Robots, and Patrizia Casali from Wahu, all enterprises of E-Novia. We will discuss E-Novia’s product lines and how they are infusing robotics and AI throughout various enterprises.
Ivo says that E-Novia came from the desire to bring robotics and AI to Italy’s most recognized fields. E-Novia collaborates with local universities to find and develop products that will have success in the marketplace. Currently, E-Novia has 30 enterprises in their group while only being a company for five years. Ivo says E-Novia is presently in the process of an IPO to increase capital and qualify its unique model. What is the scale of E-Novia’s enterprises? E-Novia has enterprises that are in every stage, some early, in the middle, and some more advanced.
With the considerable design market in Milan, E-Novia has been working to create design products infused with robotics. We seek to develop products that will welcome and interest the users. How has E-Novia been funded so far? Ivo says that an Italian family has funded E-Novia in the Manufacturing Industry as well as through fundraising. We have been working on growing our international relations, as we have a subsidiary in San Francisco, CA, and are currently opening an office in Japan.
Fabio Todeschini of BluBrake, an enterprise of E-Novia that develops Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) for e-bikes, joined us. Why do e-bikes need ABS technology? Fabio says that the e-bike market is growing a lot. The way we use bikes has changed from strictly cyclists using them to commuters using them as well. Many people using these e-bikes are unfamiliar with how to use them, causing accidents. People panic brake, which causes the majority of e-bike accidents.
Is Bluebrake’s product being used by bike manufacturers today? Fabio says it is available in Europe and they are working on making it available in the U.S. What is the incremental increase in the cost of adding this product to an e-bike? Around $500 additionally, which has been positive due to our high-end target-market. Are there others out there doing this? Fabio says there one competitor is Bosch, but Blubrake’s product is a bit different from its competitor. With all this traction, what’s next for Blubrake? Fabio says they are in the scale-up phase and wish to expand into the U.S, as they already have customers in Europe. As far as product expansion, Blubrake has a potential interest in motorcycle, scooters, and car braking systems.
Next was Roberto Rossi from Smart Robots, a system used to support production line operators in factories. Smart Robots emphasize making the human the center of the production process. What do these collaborative robotics mean? Smart robots put humans first and support them with their two configurations. One guides humans during manual operations to eliminate errors by suggesting feedback. The other configuration works as a co-worker alongside the human.
How do you get the workers to accept the robots as a tool? Roberto says that it is a step by step process. You introduce the robot to the workers and they get acquainted with it over time. Eventually, they come to appreciate the robot's help and treat it as a colleague. Where can these robots be useful? Roberto says that there is a lot of interest in different sectors of manufacturing. Wide goods productions such as washing machines and automobiles can use them due to their need for human and digital assistance. Complete automation is an old approach and human use in manufacturing is coming back. What’s next for Smart Robots? We have a big surprise coming into the safety realm of the manufacturing process. Many conditions in manufacturing need extra safety to keep workers protected. Our new product will aid in the safety of these workers.
Patrizia Casali of Wahu, a company that offers a shoe sole with the capability to adapt to ground features and environmental conditions, also joined us. Why is having a sole that changes so important? Patrizia says that if someone wants to go hiking or play golf, they need to use different types of shoes. With this technology, you use the same shoes and they adapt to your environment. How does the shoe auto-detect what’s underneath them? Inside the sole, there is an electronic board with sensors and actuators that take data and analyze it. We offer a lot of different customization options that the user may choose from.
About our Guest: Ivo Boniolo
Ivo Boniolo is a co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of E-Novia, an innovative group that infuses robotics and AI into their ventures. Ivo studied at schools such as the Politecnico di Milano, the Politecnico di Torino, and Alta Scuola Politecnica. The experience gained from his schooling added to his skills in innovation, management, and invention. During his ten years with the E-Novia group, he has spent his time transferring his technical and innovation knowledge and experience to the growth of E-Novia’s many enterprises.
About our Guest: Fabio Todeschini
Fabio Todeschini is from BluBrake, an enterprise of E-Novia. Fabio has a Ph.D. in engineering. He has experience in working on Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) for motorcycles. Fabio has taken his experience in ABS and applied it to e-bikes, the product line of BluBrake.
About our Guest: Roberto Rossi
Roberto Rossi is from Smart Robots, another innovative enterprise of E-Novia. Roberto has a Ph.D. in robotics. After receiving his Ph.D., he helped start Smart Robots, which aids humans in the goods manufacturing process.
About our Guest: Patrizia Casali
Patrizia Casali is from Wahu, a company that offers a shoe with a unique sole that adapts to different environments. Patrizia is a biomedical engineer who joined E-Novia to work on innovation after receiving her master’s degree.
If you’re interested in learning more about E-Novia and its enterprises, check out their website here.
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To learn more about E-Novia and how they innovate through various enterprises, listen to this week's show: Innovating Across Enterprises #CES2020.