EIE is an Investor Readiness Programme that offers the most advanced start-ups and scale-ups the opportunity to undergo an intensive programme to make them investor ready. This programme culminates at our technology investor showcase, where we bring together our cohort of incredible companies with international investors. Please purchase your tickets here for this year’s showcase taking place virtually on 6th October 2022.

As we lead up to the showcase, we are pleased to offer you an in-depth look at the companies in our current cohort.

The cohort for EIE22 comprises of the most innovative companies spanning multiple sectors of interest, and in this new series of stories, we will feature companies that will be pitching for investment at the investor showcase in early October.

Our next feature is on Robotics Cats.

Robotics Cats created LookOut, the world’s very first wildfire detection software-as-a-service, which helps governments, businesses, communities to mitigate forest fire risk by adding AI detection to their surveillance cameras. Launched last September, Lookout is now operating in 13 countries across six continents.

LookOut in Brazil

Wildfires generate greenhouse gas and destroy natural carbon sequestration resources, and with climate change, wildfires are proliferating in more and more places with greater frequency than ever before.

The world used lookout towers to detect early-stage wildfires for centuries until recent years. Recognizing the need for systemic change, Andre Cheung founded Robotics Cats.

By turning already-existing surveillance cameras into fire lookout stations to mitigate wildfire risks, Robotics Cats has the technology to quickly and effectively aid people in protecting their lives, assets, communities, and infrastructures from wildfires.

“The earlier you detect a wildfire,” says Cheung, “The better you can control it.”

LookOut in Hong Kong

National parks, forestry, plantations, power grids, renewables, resorts, properties, and communities are a few of the clients that Robotics Cats has aided. Cheung stresses that communities living next to a forest need their early wildfire detection solution to mitigate forest fire risk. With climate change, there are bigger and more wildfire in even more places. If we respond late and the wildfire becomes too big, there is little we can do.

Enjoying an ever-growing presence in Asia while also looking to connect LookOut to the rest of the world, Robotics Cats was founded in August 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, effectively shutting down the opportunity to ship cameras, software, and other technology out to their clients.

Andre Cheung

But recognizing that wildfires will rage despite COVID, Cheung moved forward to quickly develop the AI wildfire detection software-as-a-service (SaaS). He now says the pandemic actually accelerated the development of the SaaS.

The technology at the heart of LookOut is a computing cloud that comprises three components: the Machine Learning object detection system, the software module that “talks” to different cameras, and finally, the alert system that allows for an alert to be sent to the user as soon as any fire is detected in the images.

The process is simple: the customer sets up their cameras to send images to LookOut, LookOut runs AI analytics to detect early stage fires in the images, and LookOut sends alerts to customer and users immediately, if anything is detected.

Robotics Cats, which gets its name from the hardware cameras that move like cats as they search for signs of wildfire, believes EIE can help connect them to potential customers (like national parks and forestry) in Scotland, UK and Europe.

The ideal partner for Robotics Cats, says Cheung, are angel investors interested in climatetech, foresttech, firetech, smart city, and sustainability technologies.

LookOut in Uruguay

You can purchase tickets now to watch Robotics Cats and our 35 other companies in the EIE22 cohort presenting to investors and pitching for investment at the premier showcase taking place this year on 6th October.

EIE is delivered by The Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence.

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