The young company coming from a French laboratory at the Pierre et Marie Curie Université wants to accelerate its commercial and industrial development. Their techonology that simulate the sensation of touch has seduced the seed fund Seventure Partners, which invested 1.2 million euros.
“You hold an empty glass in your hand, you’re looking on a screen that displays the same glass you are holding, someone’s pouring water in the glass you are watching and you feel the empty glass filled with water … but it’s empty !”, describe Isabelle de Crémoux, the Chairman of the board of Seventure Partners. The fund specialized in innovation just closed the first round of Actronika and its haptic technology simulating the sensation of touch for 1.2 million euros.
The Actronika’s technology lays on a software powered by algorythms determining the sense of touch, as well as on mini vibrotactiles actuators allowing the simulation of the real sensation. The actuator comes from the research in haptic of Phd. Vincent Hayward, of the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris. To launch the company, Vincent Hayward associated with Rafal Pijewski, member of the same research center at UPMC, and Gilles Meyer, serial entrepreneur.
A FIRST CONTRACT IN THE MEDICAL DEVICES
The outcomes for the Actronika’s haptic module are numerous. “The market need vibrotactil sensations linked to the augmented and virtual reality”, confirms Gilles Meyer. Very few companies launched sharply in this market.” the mini actuators will allow to finally give the augmented reality and the virtual reality not only a precise vision and auditive feedback but also the sense of touch.
Their first contract closed in the medical devices market, especially to enrich the tele-operation systems. “Our actuator enable a highly realistic aspect to the force feedback, with close to reality tactile sensation”, explains Gilles Meyer. But mainy others sectors can be interested in the technology. Actronika traget for example the automotive and aerospace markets, where they will offer alerting systems in the cockpit, haptic feedback for drone where the pilot could feel the air holes while flying, and the gaming industry.
LAUCNH THE INDUSTRIALIZATION
The fund raise is there to launch the industrialisation of Actronika and keep making co-development partnerships with potential clients. Escpecially Internationaly, where foreign companies have already shown interest for their haptic systems.
The young company, founded in 2015, forecasts to hire 6 more people during the year 2016, reaching 10 by the end of the year. The industrialisation is one of its top priority. ” We have now the prototypes, states Gilles Meyer. We have defined the subcontractor chain, knowing that for Intelectual Property Protection, the final assembly will be done in France.”
by Arnaud Dumas