Our society needs new ideas and technologies to solve the various problems we face in everyday life. Here small startups play an important role – four enterprises point like it goes.
Clean energy from an altitude of 500 m
Johannes loves kites. The passionate kitesurfer also sails the skies in his work, and has big plans: As co-founder and CEO of the startup Kitepower, he wants to turn the wind energy sector upside down – by producing electrical energy with kites. The principle seems simple: The system for generating power consists of a generator on the ground that is connected directly to a cable winch. The kite keeps pulling the cable upward by flying a figure eight repeatedly and thus creating a strong tractive force. This continues up to a height of 500 m. Thereafter, the cable is retracted – a step that requires only little energy – and the entire procedure is repeated. (…)
The art of building a robot
Canada-born Philip Norman has always been fascinated by simplicity. As an architect, he preferred a minimalist style, and as a painter, he reduced forms to their essence. One day as he was watching his children play, he began to ponder the question why toys couldn’t be made simpler – using modular parts. Fascinated by the idea, he got hold of a CAD drawing program and sat down in front of his computer. “I was really enthusiastic and forgot everything around me,” he recollects. Finally, one year later, Philip Norman concluded the development of a modular component and applied for a patent. At the patent office it became apparent that nothing comparable existed, no one had yet thought in this particular way. (…)
The high-tech baby
Paul breathes on his own. 35 cm long. 1,000 g light. A preemie, born in the 27th week of the pregnancy. His father is Jens-Christian Schwindt, who worked as a pediatrician in the Division of Neonatology of the Vienna General Hospital for many years. In 2015, he gave up his position as senior physician to look after Paul full-time. Paul needs artificial respiration. Sometimes he even turns blue. But his main need is investors. Because Paul is not a real baby – he is the smallest and most advanced high-end patient simulator in the world. He can be used to train various emergency situations that occur daily in hospitals that provide preterm care. (…)
The delivery robots are coming!
Pedestrians all over the world have met them on the pavement already: autonomous delivery robots. Boxes on wheels, equipped with sensors, intelligent software and powerful motors. Developed to travel from A to B autonomously and reliably, without obstructing or endangering anyone. Although the vehicles spotted are prototypes, it is quite possible that autonomous delivery robots will soon be a common sight – as part of the cities of tomorrow. However, the first steps – or turns of the wheel – in this direction are being made far away from the big cities: In Saas-Fee, a small village at the foot of the highest mountains in Switzerland. Here combustion engines are prohibited. Ideal requirements for testing electrically driven ideas.