Thursday, February 6th, for the 5th time, our ORBIT Lab community and collaborators came together to celebrate and be inspired by the awesome and innovative projects at The Orbies, Winter 2020. Students, researchers, industry experts and tech startup leaders experienced a wide range of techy products and prototypes ranging from autonomous drone delivery systems, over distributed machine learning solutions for image processing to new keyboard technology for hand-impaired users. Groups with projects ranging from recent startup ideas to Master Thesis projects competed to win the prestigious golden Orbies Statuettes. A highly skilled and high-profile Panel of Judges made up of industry experts and researchers awarded five of the best projects with statuettes in five categories.
Otto Bjerg Hausgaard from Vækstfonden (The Danish State’s Investment Fund) and member of the Panel of Judges, initiated the Award Ceremony with a few reflections and pieces of advice for the groups:
“For people like us, sitting at desks and doing … also fun things, it is a privilege coming out to see all of you and seeing your bright minds at work. The term “the window of opportunity” came to mind when I was given the task to open the Award Ceremony, that you have actually presented something into this window. You have taken something you have worked on and put it out there, and it is a privilege to be allowed to be a judge to be allowed to come here today. Keep on having the courage to put it forward because your good ideas will only be seen if you put them forward.”
Next up, Otto’s fellow judges presented the awards in five out of seven categories.
Winner of Best Pitch: Luffe, Henriette Aamand Holm and Mads Emil Nielsen
Keyboard for people who are only able to use one hand due to disability. For people who only have the use of one hand, typing on a QWERTY keyboard is very tricky, and therefore it is hampering in both work and school situations. The solution is simple: A one-hand keyboard. Its primary function is to help one-handed people to type as fast and smooth as two-handed people do.
Comments from the Panel of Judges, presented by Linda Lawton included:
“Pitching an idea is not easy. You stand up in front of a bunch of people that you don’t know, and you have to not be scared, and you have to be able to show everybody your passion for your idea. This one group was able to show us that they really believe in it and that they are willing to work hard.”
Winner of Best Video: ExcuseMe, Nikolaj Emil Sørensen, Alexander Najbjerg Christensen and Tobias Aunbøl
ExcuseMe is an app that solves the everlasting problem of not being able to find any excuses for not participating in social events. With this app, you no longer have to think for yourself, or re-use old excuses that may result in being caught in a lie.
Comments from the Panel of Judges, presented by Kresten Krab Thorup, included:
“This was a very difficult decision. We thought long and hard. In the end, we decided to go with the most viral idea. The app where we thought “can we get this now?”.”
Because sadly, there was only one nominee in the video category this time, the judges’ comments were served with a bit of sarcasm.
Winner of Best Demo: Non-linear Map Projection, Mathias Grønne
About Non-linear Map Projection
Imagine you are standing in an amusement park or on a skiing resort and looking at the map they have made as a brochure. The map is made to help you to see what is available, as a way of marketing, and to give a sense of direction. But now comes the problem; you want to know where you are on the map, which is challenging with a piece of paper.
More companies are now trying to put their maps into an app, to let the users see them digitally so they don’t need to bring the paper map with them. The problem with this digitalization is that it isn’t solving the problem – it still doesn’t tell the user where they are on the map. It is not because they don’t want to show them, it is because they can’t. The maps they have designed are obscured, to let them seem more interesting, but this also makes it difficult to use the user’s GPS coordinates to determine their position. But now, this problem has been solved! In this project, I have created a map projection technology to make it possible for places like amusement parks and ski resorts to tell their users where they are on the map. This project has been expanded with a route planning technology which lets the user see the best route to one of the attractions and the time it takes to get there.
Comments from the Panel of Judges, presented by Tiare Feuchtner, included:
“From personal experience, I know there’s only one thing more difficult than giving a pitch and that is giving a demo. There’s always something that breaks. Some of you experienced that today. However, for many it went really, really well. And that actually made it harder for us to demo. So the best demo goes to a project that for me will make it so much more fun to send out party invitations.”
Winner of Best Startup Potential: Luffe, Henriette Aamand Holm and Mads Emil Nielsen
See the project description above.
Comments from the Panel of Judges, presented by Christian Melchior included:
“As someone who worked in a startup for four years, I definitely know that doing a startup requires a lot of passion and a lot of work. The project we selected for the Best Startup potential, definitely shows a lot of passion. They have done incredible work in a short amount of time really and that shows that they can get really far.”
Winner of Best Overall Project: Drone Delivery System, Mads Antonsen, Mads Steiner Kristensen, Michael Bro Moseholt and Jakob Grimm Hansen
About Drone Delivery System
As the project title indicates, this project is about building drones that are able to deliver packages, similar to Amazon’s future delivery system Prime Air. As drone delivery is not possible in Denmark due to regulations controlled by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, their project is strictly conceptual. We have created the system from scratch; we have built both the drone and the flight controller, we have done the print layout for the flight controller, designing the antenna and drawing up potential flying routes based on several different data sets indicating no-fly zones, tall buildings, weather forecasts etc. We have also built a frontend interface for handling orders, including the possibility for a customer to monitor their packages as they are being transported by the drone. The potential is vast. Our prototype can carry up to 0.5 kg, which will in most cases be sufficient for delivering e.g. medicine to far-out districts or disabled patients. There is also a potential for drastically reducing CO2 emissions in the consumer transport sector, as the drone runs purely on electricity. A hypothetical business model could be to integrate drone delivery in e-commerce checkout flows and let the customer choose delivery by drone, similar to how today it is possible to choose delivery by GLS, delivery to the nearest shop or pick-up point, etc.
Comments from the Panel of Judges, presented by Kim Dyrholm Kristiansen, included:
“To be honest, we were not blown away by this project, we were actually carried away. So it is, of course, a project where the technical dimensions are immense. The effort this group put in is really amazing – it is incredible what they did in that period of time.”
Community Contributors: Consibio, Søren Jessen Kjær, Thorbjørn Bøgh Jensen, Emil Jakobsen (and Johan Egsgaard Thomsen)
Comments on behalf of the ORBIT Lab team, presented by Head of ORBIT, Lab Kasper Løvborg Jensen, Included:
“There’s a lot of people who spend a lot of time here and we appreciate every one of you. But there are a few of you who go the extra mile to always be available. To always be there, whenever we have visitors in the lab who want to see some cool technologies. If we call them up and ask if you want to meet a crown prince or an astronaut, they’re up for that! These guys are immensely cool, they have an awesome startup. They have won several awards already for their technical skills, but what we also want to acknowledge today is their contribution to our community and the lab in general.”
Audience Award: Non-linear Map Projection, Mathias Grønne
See the project description above. Everyone present voted for their favorite project via an online voting tool and Non-linear map projection came out as the winner with 40 votes. See the project description above. See the previous winners on the Wall in the center of the ORBIT Lab hallway, or check out the winners from The Orbies, Summer 2019.