In the world of Industry 4.0, automating industrial processes can never be the answer to everything. The fact remains that in many complex, critical or low reproducibility situations, operator expertise is still needed. But ensuring the quality and traceability of manual operations, such as drilling, screwing or welding, is not an easy task, since 60% of manufacturers are still struggling to integrate digital solutions into their processes.
InBolt responds effectively to this issue with a small module with an integral 3D optical sensor that can be attached to any hand tool. The module calculates the precise location of the tool as it is used, and guides the operator in real time through the task at hand, recording all the data generated. This puts quality control in the hands of operators. The ultimate ambition for Inbolt is to put people back at the centre of the 4th industrial revolution by making them infallible.
This argument as well as the team’s complementarity persuaded the Jury, who awarded the project with the 2nd Jury prize.
Category: Resilient Infrastructures
The three InBolt co-founders contribute a broad range of skills: Rudy Cohen is an engineer, Albane Dersy is a business management specialist and Louis Dumas is an expert in aerospace technologies. They work closely with their 5 employees, as well as powerful partners, including HAX, the world's largest venture capital accelerator programme for hardware, and Intel Labs at Stanford, which provides them with R&D process support.
InBolt was born out of a design-thinking week in a coach maintenance workshop as part of the X-HEC Entrepreneurship Masters programme attended by all three of us. So that’s where we began taking an interest in the day-to-day problems of technicians, quality controllers and managers of industrial maintenance and production centres.
What are the most recent developments for your start-up?
We’ve just been named as winners of the i-Lab 2020 innovation competition. Winning this award gives us access to a €250,000 grant to accelerate the development of our product.
What’s been the most unexpected thing that’s happened as a result of the start-up?
From the earliest days of this adventure, we’ve had the support of HAX, the world's most high-profile venture capital accelerator programme for hardware. The entire team immediately found itself on a plane to Shenzhen in China, where we spent 6 weeks working round the clock on this start-up acceleration programme. This unforgettable experience really brought us all together and bonded us as a team.
So how does your project revolutionise your category?
We’re developing the world’s smallest and most powerful 3D vision tracking system. The data collected as the operation is being carried out are immediately transmitted to the production monitoring software.