Alongside this year’s Silicon Gorge: Spring Edition we’ve been publishing profiles of a few of the companies that have made it through to the heats. This week, it’s Calyo, a company developing an AI-enabled perception system that offers for smart mobile robots and autonomous vehicles.
Here to answer our questions is Calyo’s founder Mihai Caleap.
What does your company do?
Calyo is an early-stage technology company developing ‘sound’ vision sensor systems that will enable advanced robots, autonomous platforms, and eventually blind, or visually impaired people to perceive the environment in real time.
Our technology uses airborne-ultrasound sensors to actively collect low-kHz sounds (well beyond the human hearing range) that are scattered by objects or people. Our sensors have a small footprint and a wide field-of-view, offering accurate 3-D localisation combined with real-time mapping. Our solution complements other sensing technologies which utilise lasers, radio waves, infra-red light and optical instruments, already adopted by OEMs, and adds an additional layer of vision for robots and autonomous systems.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Although known to perform well in ideal conditions, some high-end sensors, such as liDAR and raDAR, remain very expensive (£‘000 per unit) and have some physical and/or performance limitations: for example they exhibit limited field-of-view, lack 3-D sensing capability, and struggle in harsh environmental conditions.
Calyo has developed software and hardware (encompassing arrays of low-cost microphones and repurposed ultrasonic speakers) that can create ‘live’ 3-D environmental maps without the loss of data by varying ambient conditions. Machine learning algorithms are then used in order to successfully interact within dynamic environments.
What makes your solution unique?
The ability to perceive and interact with surrounding objects and the environment is critical to robotic functionality and autonomous mobility. Current sensing modalities utilising e.g. light, radio waves and ultrasound, are based largely on a decades-old approach of linear time-of-flight. New approaches are long-overdue.
Calyo applies a novel methodology for sound vision technology to perform 3-D imaging in real time, aiming at higher spatial resolution reconstruction of the environment and offering an unprecedented combination of high performance, flexibility and low cost. If successfully deployed, this technology will deliver a step change in the future of autonomous robotics and vehicles and provide the redundancy needed to sense the environment safely.
What are you most proud of so far?
We’re building an entirely new paradigm for vision perception that has the potential to revolutionise the emerging sensor-enabled mobile robotics industry whilst also providing assistive tools for blind people. We’ve been working for a few months now on improving our back- and front-end software suite as well as the creation of advanced system-on-chip architecture prototypes.
Despite being in stealth mode we are pleased to have attracted interest our journey from a number of industry partners who are keen to evaluate and support our sensors in a commercial setting. This includes French and British multinational defence technology companies who have a strong interest in progressing our fully embedded, sensing architecture for application on unmanned systems across defence.
How much are you raising and what do you want to use investment for?
We are currently looking for a seed investment of £350,000, which will be used by the company to further develop our plug-and-play ‘sound’ vision perception system, so that we are able to demonstrate our potential and springboard into a commercial setting. This funding, which will be eligible for SEIS or EIS relief, will be used to prepare and shape the company for significant revenue generation after the first year.
Where can we find out more about you?
Calyo is not just a software company, we are developing autonomous mobility sensors for a range of industries. We are keen to engage with highly-skilled experts in technological development including embedded hardware design, with background or experience in a high-growth VC backed business pace. If that’s you, then we’d be really happy to have a conversation. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss opportunities.
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