Robotics, artificial intelligence, connected devices in ‘Forbes 30 under 30’

24 January 2017

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Forbes “30 under 30″ list celebrates the achievements of 30 game changers in 20 different industries — 600 in total — of the brightest young entrepreneurs and innovators who are challenging conventional wisdom. The list highlights some interesting trends in robotics, AI, intelligence energy storage, and automation. Connected/smart consumer goods, advanced manufacturing, and artificial intelligence are big ticket items for 2017. Forbes also unveiled its second annual “30 Under 30 Europe” list, featuring 300 young innovators, covering 10 categories. The entire list can be viewed here. 

You may also recognise some of these bright young minds from their contributions on Robohub:

Smart design / connected devices / energy storage

  • Amrit Robbins & Anthony Diamond, Cofounders, Axiom Exergy
    An industry first, the Refrigeration Battery makes it possible for supermarkets, cold-storage facilities, and food processors to intelligently store and deploy refrigeration. The battery plugs into your refrigeration system, just like a display case. It stores thermal energy produced by your refrigeration system during off-peak hours and deploys it during on-peak hours. As a result, electricity demand is reduced by up to 40 percent during peak hours—a significant cost saving.
  • Paige Kassalen, Engineer, Solar Impulse
    Kassalen was an electrical engineer on the ground crew of Solar Impulse, the first airplane to circle the globe powered by the sun. At 22, Paige was the youngest member and only American on the ground crew.
  • Justin Barozie, Associate Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, Battery, Tesla Motors
    Barozie is lead manufacturing engineer for Tesla’s energy products and Model 3 battery modules. He leads a team of nine manufacturing engineers, and has designed and delivered more than 50 mass-production, multi-million dollar state-of-the-art automation projects.
  • Nishant Garg & Jimit Shah, Cofounders, Flow Labs
    Flow Labs has devised a small wireless-enabled sensor that attaches to water pipes and measures the amount of water flowing through them — ideal for homes and businesses looking for ways to save water and save money.
  • Ravi Kurani, CEO, Sutro
    Kurani has built a sensor connected app that monitors the health of your swimming pool, notifies you if maintenance is required and orders pool supplies. Automating water system maintenance saves chemicals, water and energy.
  • Maanasa Mendu, student, Mason High school
    On family visits to India, Mendu saw the challenges of energy scarcity. A high school freshman in Ohio, she created a piezoelectric “leaf” device that harvests energy from sun, wind and rain. She’s working to commercialize her device.
  • Colin Touhey, CEO, Pvilion
    Touhey’s Pvilion makes flexible photovoltaic solar products. He has led the development of solar-powered fabric for Google, built a sustainable 6,000-square-foot building on the roof of Carnegie Hall, and devised self-erecting robotic Army shelters.
  • Richard Wang, CEO, Cuberg
    Wang’s Cuberg is developing a safer and more energy-dense battery to improve the affordability and range of electric vehicles. Wang studied battery degradation mechanisms Tesla Motors and has a PhD in materials science from Stanford.

Manufacturing & Industry

  • Rhae Adams, Director of Energy & Mining, Planetary Resources
    Adams is helping to develop a market for mined materials from asteroids including water and industrial metals. Planetary Resources has raised more than $30 million in 2016 for its asteroid prospecting system.
  • Chad Ammon, Cofounder, Inovdrone
    INOVA Drone is a TechStars company developing small drones for commercial and governmental applications, including public safety and critical infrastructure inspection. It was one of the first companies in Qualcomm’s Robotics Accelerator. Before founding the company, Amonn was one of the lead drone designers at 3D Robotics.
  • Jeremy Blum, Head of Electrical Engineering, Shaper Tools
    Blum is head of electrical engineering at Shaper, a company looking to improve old-fashioned power tools with cutting-edge technology like machine vision. Prior to Shaper, Blum worked as a lead electrical system engineer at GoogleX, and did prototyping on Google Glass. He’s a prolific inventor, with three patents, and hosts a popular YouTube channel where he shows off his electrical engineering projects.
  • Stefanie Mueller, Assistant Professor, MIT
    Mueller’s work focuses on the computer science of “physical data,” such as that involved in 3D printing. She leads the HCI Engineering Group at MIT CSAIL, which works on hardware and software that advance personal fabrication technologies, and is the conference General Co-Chair at the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computational Fabrication 2017.
  • Anurag Garg, CEO, Dattus
    Garg is cofounder and CEO of Dattus, an industrial Internet of things company that transforms old manufacturing facilities into smarter factories.
  • Hasier Larrea, CEO, Ori [featured on Robohub HERE]
    Larrea is the founder of Ori (which derives its name from origami), a robotic, flexible furniture system for small apartments. The system allows for a number of configurations, from bedroom to office to living room, and back again, all controlled from one control panel.
  • Ladislas de Toldi and Marine Couteau, cofounders, Leka [featured on Robohub HERE]
    Couteau and de Toldi’s company, Leka, has a solution for helping children with special needs engage with their education. They manufacture a multi-sensory robotic ball with lights, sounds and vibrations to engage children while tracking their progress.
  • Marco Mascorro, Cofounder, Fellow Robots [featured on Robohub HERE]
    Retailers regularly struggle with inventory shrinkage and discrepancies in pricing and product that can cost a small fortune. Mascorro, who previously worked on robotics for BMW Group, cofounded Fellow Robots, which is developing robots that can help retailers with inventory management by scanning the shelves and keeping tabs on product. The company is rolling out its robots at American home improvement chain Lowe’s and Japanese electronics retailer Yamada Denki, among others.

Healthcare / wearables / brain-computer interfaces

  • Alessandro Babini, Cofounder, Humon
    Alessandro’s company is building a wearable device that measures oxygen levels in muscles to determine how hard athletes should push themselves, when muscles have recovered and when training can resume. The company has received $1 million in funding.
  • Huanyu Cheng, Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University
    Cheng researches biologically-inspired electronics for use in robotics, biomedicine and energy. One of his more notable projects was being part of the research team that developed wearable electronic tattoos that can eventually dissolve in the human body.
  • Prarthna Desai, Operations, Zipline
    Desai left her Harvard grad school program to use drones to get medication to people in the developing world. In her operations role at Zipline, she is leading efforts to integrate the medicine-delivery-by-drone service with the healthcare system in Rwanda.
  • Nicole Moskowitz & Jessica Traver, Cofounders, IntuiTap Medical
    IntuiTap wants to streamline the process by using imaging technology, pressure sensors and predictive analytics not only to make spinal taps more accurate, but also to make the process more pleasant for patients.
  • Param Shah and Alex Matthews, Cofounders, Fusiform
    Shah and Mathews are co-founders of Fusiform, which is building an infrastructure for custom fabrication for orthopedic devices. Rather than cast a patient with plaster, Fusiform has developed a way to take a 3D scan and design the orthopedics digitally.
  • Lydia Kisley, Postdoc fellow, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    Kisley focuses on using new technologies to take pictures of chemicals at a nanoscale level in order to better manipulate them. A few projects: showing that proteins clump in the presence of gold nanoparticles only when they are in low concentrations; and new efforts to understand how drug molecules fit together – an effort that could allow scientists to find the porous spaces in any nanotech particle.
  • Ashwin Pushpala, Founder, Sano
    Pushpala thinks traditional preventive health is “fundamentally wrong” in its approach.His company, Sano, combines personalized health with a Fitbit approach. It has raised $18.75 million to develop a wearable sensor that, instead of counting steps, assesses things like blood sugar so users can see the impact of dietary changes on individual bodies.
  • Niko Skievaski, Cofounder, Redox
    One of the biggest problems in healthcare: getting data from one place to another. Skievaski’s company, Redox, has raised $4 million to make an API that works as a bridge between healthcare data and the software that uses it, translating patients’ records across platforms. So far the company has partnered with more than 1,000 software vendors.
  • Daniel Szafir, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder
    Szafir’s research sounds almost like science fiction. It’s focused on human-robot interaction and human-computer interaction. Specifically, he’s developing ways to improve the performance of small flying robots so they can operate by themselves. He’s also worked on better ways to interact with computers, including brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality.
  • TowerView Health, Cofounders
    After he was diagnosed with cancer, Nick Valilis was surprised by how difficult it was to remember to take his pills. So he teamed up with his college roommates to found TowerView Health, which sells a smart pill box with custom trays of medication.

Big data / machine learning / algorithms

  • Michelle Atallah, PhD candidate, Stanford University
    Atallah is designing algorithms to identify mechanisms in tumor-driven immunosuppression as part of her PhD candidacy in the Cancer Biology program at Stanford. Utilizing a new technology called Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging, she is collecting data about immune cells within tumors in order to better apply therapeutic intervention.
  • Xi Chen, Assistant Professor, New York University
    Chen studies machine learning, high-dimensional statistics and operations research. These lead to new learning methods and approaches for big data analysis, with applications for business, medicine, and more.
  • Korin Reid, Senior Data Scientist, McKesson
    Reid uses big data technologies to scale predictive modeling and machine learning on billions of healthcare records, reaching over 160 million people. Named one of McKesson’s 2016 Distinguished Technologists, she also mentors youth in STEM skills.
  • Justin Solomon, Assistant Professor, MIT
    Solomon researches geometric problems in computer graphics, computer vision and machine learning. Co-inventor of three patents, he also spent five years doing computer research for Pixar, developing new algorithms for image processing in movies.
  • Katharina Volz, Founder, Razor, Inc.
    Volz’s company, OccamzRazor, hopes to speed up the processes behind scientific research by addressing information fragmentation and data validation. This, in turn, should make collaboration easier and help build an institutional knowledge base. The company is running pilots at Stanford, Harvard, MIT and biotech companies.

Artificial intelligence and VR

  • Marta Jamrozik & Misha Laskin, Cofounders, Claire
    Marta Jamrozik and Misha Laskin built an artificially intelligent chatbot that allows millions of users to provide product feedback in real-time. This helps companies get valuable pre-launch insight, and identify their bestsellers and worst performers early on — which is why Kohl’s, Alex And Ani, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rent the Runway are all Claire customers.
  • Scott Britton, Cofounder,
    Britton cofounded with the goal of making work easier for sales teams by providing them with an artificially intelligent assistant that helps them perform their CRM functions in messaging interfaces like Slack.
  • Ben Aneesh & Natalie Gray, Cofounders, Cover
    The entrepreneurs behind fashion app Stylekick are back with a less sexy but very useful startup. Mobile app Cover allows you to buy insurance as easily as you’d take a photo: send a snap of your jewelry, car, or home and get a quote.
  • Beatty & Scranton, Cofounders, IrisVR
    Beatty and Scranton cofounded New York City-based IrisVR in 2014 to help companies transition their assets to virtual reality (VR) by making software to easily create, share and interact with 3D models on all major VR platforms, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
  • Arruda and Dall’Oglio and Ovbiagele, Cofounders, ROSS intelligence.
    A legal research engine that uses artificial intelligence to automate legal processes making them more efficient and less expensive. Leveraging IBM’s Watson, ROSS uses natural language processing to search and provide legal information from citations to full legal briefs.

Read the entire list here.

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Kassie Perlongo Kassie is the Managing Editor at Robohub.
Kassie Perlongo Kassie is the Managing Editor at Robohub.

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