PepsiCo saves water with WINT

PepsiCo has started to integrate WINT’s water management and leak detection systemin dozens of its factories around the globe. This step is part of the American food and beverage giant to cut expenses of water consumption. PepsiCo has set an initial goal of reducing water consumption by 15% until 2025, as part of a wider perennial program aimed to save resources and reduce environmental damage caused by the company’s activity.

WINT’s platform interfaces with the factory’s existing water systems, and is capable of identifying – using AI algorithms – water consumption anomalies at the production line, whether it is a technical issues like faulty engine/valve or merely water waste.

Yaron Dycian, WINT’s Chief Product and Strategy Officer, says to Techtime he experiences a change in industries’ attitudes towards water usage. “The industrial sector is responsible for fifth of the global water consumption. As water are considered a cheap resourse, saving water was not the primary concern of the industrial companies. Today, with the arousal of environmental consciousness, and since water waste increase carbon footprint, we witness a change and desire to use water effectively. Our cooperation with PepsiCo is strategic and sustained, and our intent is to extend our technology integration to more PepsiCo factories”.

Identifying a leaking toilet at the 20th floor

Together with the industrial sector, the main target market for WINT is the residential and office buildings, which suffer from a chronic water waste problem. For example: there are estimates that water damage in facilities is a major source of insurance claims, with over $13 billion in annual payouts.  At the UK, this amount is estimated at £1 billion.

WINT’s platform is an analytic one, based on detection of water leaks and waste using AI to identify anomalies in the facility’s water consumption graph. In order to gather the required data, unique devices are installed on the water meters at a various strategic points across the building. Using machine learning algorithms, the system learns site’s usage patterns, and alerts the maintenance managers on any anomaly that may indicate a leak. According to the company, the solution may save 20%-25% of water expenses.

Dycian: “People are unaware of the amount of water wasted in their building. Current estimates are that around 25% of the amount of water entering a building – is wasted. Main issue is that leaks are detected in late stages, for example – when a pipe is exploded. Our system can detect a leaking toilet in a skyscraper”. Currently, WINT has around 400 clients in Israel and around the globe, to include the real estate company TIDHAR, Mellanox, several Israeli insurance companies as well as financial worldwide institutes such as Bank of America and Citibank. Together with its offices in Rosh-HaAyin, the company holds offices in the UK and the USA and employs a total of 50 employees.

Meanwhile, WINT announced it had completed a $15 million Series B funding round. The round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners and with participation from existing investors which include Marius Nacht, one of Israel’s leading serial entrepreneurs, founders, and investors. The round also included numerous global construction and real-estate companies, who are keenly looking to solve the challenges posed by water sustainability and damage in their facilities and construction sites. These include Suffolk Construction, a national technology-driven general contractor, the Consensus Business Group, the UK’s largest owner and manager of residential and commercial property, Tidhar, Electra, Ashtrom, Rogovin, and the Israel-Canada group. 

CADY developed solution for automatic PCB design inspection in the planning phase

Israel-based start-up CADY, the developer of AI-based technology for PCB inspection, completed a $3M funding round. The current round is led by Teramips Technologies and Udi Peless, the founder and former CEO of Friendly Robotics, which developed robotic lawn mower s. Friendly Robotics acquired by the American MDT in 2017 for $45 million, and Peless currently holds the position of CADY’s Chairman of the Board. Teramips Technologies is managed by Pavel Radziviovsky and Vadim Zlotnik, former founders of Visionmap, which was awarded the Israel Defense Prize and later acquired by Rafael in 2013. Other participants in the current round are TAU Ventures – Tel-Aviv University’s Venture Capital, which also invested in CADY at earlier stages – as well as Today Ventures, Aristagora VC, Tal Ventures, Atooro, Amit Gilon, Rafi Gidron and additional private investors. 

CADY was founded in 2020 by Gilad Shapira, CEO of the company, Tal Ben Porath, CTO, and Or Shabtai, Head of Research, who met during their joint service in the intelligence unit of the IDF. Including the current funding round, a total of $4M raised by the company since it was founded.

CADY operates in the emerging market of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) planning. As chips are being more and more complex, it’s been more complex to plan the electric circuits connecting the PCB’s components. As opposed to the chips’ planning area, where powerful verification and testing tools are highly available, the engineer planning the PCB is required to perform most of the tests manually or use colleagues. As a result, most of the electrical failures are coming to light only at the physical stage of the product, that is – at the prototype stage. When such failure is detected in the prototype, the engineer is forced to go back to the sketch table, locate the fault and re-send the modified design to reproduce the prototype. The process is a cumbersome, prolonged and costly process, adding the fact the PCB development processes require multiple prototypes production (re-spin) before mass production. 

Gilad Shapira, CADY CEO says to Techtime that his company’s solution is designed to meet the lack of automatic PCB inspection tools. “At present, there and no comprehensive automatic tools to assist the engineer at the planning stage’s inspections, and those processes are have to be carried out manually. This is a highly time consuming process and usually, not all failures will be detected by the engineer. Studies showed that at every planning contains at least several errors, a fact that requires issuing a re-spinning process.

CADY’s solution makes it possible to perform this inspection early at the sketching stage. The company developed designated software for PCB planning automatic inspection, based on an AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology. Using machine learning algorithms, the software scans the technical specifications of chips and other components and “understands” the requirements and characteristics of each component, such as voltage requirements, temperature and connections. At the next phase, the software compares the insights against the sketch, in order to identify planning failures at the early planning stages, before producing the prototype. The platform provides a promptly feedback to the engineer”.  

Shapira: “Current solutions available in the market are trying to base the inspection on electricity principles basics; these solutions are insufficient as they don’t take into account the varied requirements of each components and each manufacturer. Our advantage is not coming of unique expertise in electricity, rather it is the ability to convert technical specifications, usually written in natural language and saved as PDF, to formal language that makes it possible of running an automatic inspection of the circuit against the planning. Our main goal is to provide a solution that will reduce the number of re-spins to minimum or even to totally eliminate it”.

POCs with Intel and defense companies

According to the company, detecting failures at early stages improve and accelerate the planning phase, significantly save resources, shorten delivery schedule and increase quality and reliability of final product. Shapira: “Together with the chips market, the PCB market also experiences a dramatic increase in the planning and inspection complexity. Circuit made for vehicles, computers, phones and other devices becomes more dense and complex, embedded with more components, and thus harder to inspect. Now, more than ever, there is an imminent need for an automatic inspection tool, based on AI technology, to inspect electrical schemes. 

CADY has conducted several successful pilots with multinational technology corporate business units and Israeli defense companies, in which it successfully detected errors at early stages of the design process. Furthermore, CADY was admitted to Intel’s startups program, Intel Ignite, batch #5 and already conducted fruitful pilots with three different Intel business units. The raised funds will allow the company to recruit additional employees and advance to a commercial phase with its clients, leaving the pilot stage behind. 

BIRD Foundation to invest $8 million in 9 new projects

During its meeting on December 13, 2021, held via video conference, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $8 million in funding for nine new projects between U.S. and Israeli companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to $22 million.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaborations between U.S. and Israeli companies in various technological sectors for joint product development.  In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million (up to $1.5m for exceptional projects), the Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Israel Innovation Authority.

The nine projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the more than 1000 projects that the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 44-year history. To date, BIRD’s total investment in joint projects is over $370 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

The projects approved include:

  • Civan Lasers (Jerusalem, Israel) and AMET, Inc. (Rexburg, ID) to develop an Advanced Laser Welding System based on Dynamic Beam Laser.
  • TempraMed Israel (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Concept Group Corporation (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) to develop thermal insulation to shield the EpiPen Auto-Injector from exposure to high temperatures that can degrade the drug performance.
  • Cordio Medical (Or Yehuda, Israel) and International Healthcare (Norwalk, CT) to develop and validate the HearO® system that remotely monitors Congestive Heart Failure patients.
  • Mego Afek (Kibbutz Afek, Israel) and Edamame Health (Napa, CA) to develop a Lymphedema remote patient monitoring system.
  • Kav-Medida (Herzliya, Israel) and Skycatch (San Francisco, CA) to develop a high precision indoor scanning and analytics system to monitor progress in real time throughout all phases of construction.
  • Sixgill (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Basis Technology Corporation (Somerville, MA) to develop AI-based technologies, based on natural language processing, to identify emerging and imminent cyber threats.
  • Agridrones (Kfar Saba, Israel) and ISCA Technologies (Riverside, CA) to develop an intelligent drone-fitted precision dispersion system for natural pesticides and pollination enhancement products.
  • HIL Applied Medical Proton International (Jerusalem, Israel) and Proton International (Alpharetta, GA) to develop ultra-compact, affordable proton laser based beam therapy.
  • SirT6 (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Regulus Therapeutics (San Diego, CA) to develop an innovative treatment for geriatric frailty based on increasing SIRT6 protein levels.

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation [pictured above], said: “The selected projects include breakthrough innovations that will benefit from both the U.S.-Israel partnerships and the risk-sharing funding mechanism provided by the BIRD Foundation. The awards can be a significant factor for companies seeking to raise funding, especially in an environment in which investments are often focused on less risky sectors.”

The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 1, 2022. Approval of projects will take place in June 2022.

Smart Shooter reveals ultra-precise fire control system for UAVs

SMART SHOOTER, a designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, reveals the SMASH Dragon: an armed drone system incorporating Smart Shooter’s combat-proven SMASH Technology that ensures precise target elimination.

Presented by the company for the first time, SMASH Dragon is an advanced robotic weaponry payload that can be mounted on different drones and other unmanned aerial platforms. It can incorporate various types of assault rifles, sniper rifles, 40mm, and other ammunition with great precision. Extremely lightweight and therefore allowing long mission endurance, SMASH Dragon integrates a unique stabilization concept with the SMASH technology that enables the system to accurately hit static and moving targets while flying.

Featuring SMASH’s proprietary target acquisition and tracking algorithms as well as sophisticated computer vision capabilities, the remotely operated SMASH Dragon Offers the SMASH technology’s fast and precise hit capabilities and other exclusive benefits while engaging targets from the air.

The company stated that the system has successfully completed live firing tests and is currently under advanced stages of development. 

Michal Mor, SMART SHOOTER CEO: “Smart Shooter’s SMASH technology offers precise elimination of threats at ground, air and sea. We are now happy to offer the same precise, combat-proven target engagement technology mounted on an unmanned aerial platform that can be controlled from a distance. When it comes to drones, platform weight is a critical factor as it impacts mission endurance and cost, and we are proud to announce that the extremely lightweight SMASH Dragon meets this criterion”.

One shot – one hit

SMART SHOOTER is a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms. With a rich record in designing unique solutions for the warfighter, SMART SHOOTER technology enhances mission effectiveness through the ability to accurately engage and eliminate ground, aerial, static or moving targets during both day and night operations.

Designed to help military and law enforcement professionals swiftly and accurately neutralize their targets, the company’s combat-proven SMASH Family of Fire Control Systems increase assault rifle lethality while keeping friendly forces safe and reducing collateral damage. With a unique technology that makes it possible for every battlefield element to be connected with every other battlefield element, SMASH creates a micro-tactical network that dramatically enhances real-time situational awareness and ensures that the entire platoon shares a common operational picture.

The company’s experienced team of engineers combine electro-optics, computer vision technologies, real-time embedded software, ergonomics, and system engineering to provide cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions for modern conflicts. 

Fielded and operational, Smart Shooter SMASH family of solutions provides end-users with a “One Shot – One Hit” capability across multiple mission areas, creating a significant advantage for the infantry soldier and ultimately revolutionizing the world of small arms and optics.

SMART SHOOTER’s headquarters are based in Yagur, Israel, and its American subsidiary, Smart Shooter Inc., is located in Virginia. Smart Shooter also has offices in Düsseldorf, Germany, and in Canberra, Australia. 

Memic Announces Adoption of Hominis® Surgical System at Three U.S. Hospitals

Memic Innovative Surgery Ltd. (Memic), a medical device company dedicated to transforming surgery with its proprietary surgical robotic technology, today announced that HCA Florida Healthcare’s Kendall Regional Medical Center, AdventHealth Celebration and The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial have acquired the Hominis® Surgical System for use in single site, natural orifice laparoscopic-assisted transvaginal benign gynecological procedures including benign hysterectomy. Hominis is the first and only FDA-authorized surgical robot that features miniature humanoid-shaped arms, with shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints that provide human level dexterity and 360-degree articulation.

“It is essential that healthcare systems and clinicians continue to invest in innovative and disruptive technology to offer superior healthcare and optimal outcomes for patients,” said Ricardo E. Estape, MD, a practicing gynecology oncologist at Kendall Regional Medical Center and director of HCA Healthcare’s Institute for Gynecologic Oncology. “Kendall is one of the busiest robotic surgery programs in South Florida, and we are proud to be among the first in the U.S. to offer this novel system, allowing us to perform minimally invasive gynecological procedures using the transvaginal approach, which is known to offer less pain, lower infection rates, faster recovery, and no visible scarring.”

The Hominis System is designed to replicate the motions and capabilities of a surgeon’s arms. Multiple instruments can be introduced to the body through a single portal and the 360-degree articulation offers obstacle avoidance as well as optimal access and working angles. Hominis requires a much smaller footprint and costs significantly less than conventional robotic systems, making it possible for more hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to acquire the system and offer more patients the benefits of less invasive robotic surgery. Hominis was granted de novo marketing authorization from the FDA in February 2021.

“As a leader in robotic surgery, we are always looking to bring innovative and leading edge technology to our community to enhance efficiency with surgical techniques and highlight our overall commitment to whole person health care. This technology will allow us to perform surgical techniques not feasible today and improve the surgical experience for a wide range of patients,” said Doug Harcombe, CEO at AdventHealth Celebration.

“As one of the region’s most cutting-edge surgical centers, we are excited to be adding new technology and surgical solutions that will benefit our patients,” said Joanne Ruggiero, MSN, MA, NE-BC, interim CEO of Holtz Children’s Hospital/The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial. “We are proud to be among the first in the country to offer this new scarless surgery, and look forward to making an impact in the lives of our South Florida patients.”

“We are proud to partner with these leading healthcare providers to empower surgeons with a better user experience and help them better serve the thousands of women who undergo gynecologic surgery each year,” said Dvir Cohen, co-founder and chief executive officer of Memic. “These sites establish a strong foundation for expanding market adoption of Hominis, including a leading robotic surgery center of excellence, a 450-bed hospital owned by one of the largest U.S. hospital systems, and a 1,550-bed nonprofit teaching hospital affiliated with an acclaimed medical school. With their support, we are expanding our commercial footprint to increase the reach of our proprietary technology and have a positive impact on the Florida region and elsewhere as we work to expand adoption of Hominis worldwide.”

Udelv Unveils Autonomous Cab-Less Transporter, driven by Mobileye

Udelv, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company, unveiled the Transporter, an autonomous electric delivery vehicle for multi-stop delivery, driven by Mobileye Drive self-driving system. The multi-stop electric delivery vehicle features a self-contained, hot swappable modular cargo pod called the uPod.  It can carry up to 2,000 pounds of goods, make up to 80 stops per cycle at highway speeds, cover ranges between 160 and 300 miles per run and be operated by Udelv’s mobile apps to schedule, deliver, track and retrieve packages.

Founded in California in 2017 by CEO Daniel Laury and CTO Akshat Patel, Udelv successfully accomplished the first-ever autonomous delivery on public roads in 2018. Udelv has since completed over 20,000 deliveries for multiple merchants in CaliforniaArizona and Texas with two prior vehicle generations.

Udelv aims at having 50,000 units of the Transporter, driven by Mobileye, on public roads by 2028, with the first Transporters being commercially deployed in 2023. The company has already garnered more than 1,000 reservations, including from US-based Donlen and Europe-based Planzer and Ziegler Group.  The company was also awarded a prestigious contract from the US Air Force for a pilot program on Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The Transporter is driven by the Mobileye Drive™ self-driving system with a suite of cameras, LiDARs, radars and the fifth generation of EyeQ, Mobileye’s System-on-Chip for automotive applications. To rapidly deploy at scale, the Transporter will integrate Mobileye’s AV maps based on Road Experience Management (REM), a crowdsourced, continuously updated map of the world that digitizes what autonomous vehicles need to navigate.

Renesas Completed the Acquisition of Celeno Communications

Above: Gilad Rozen, President & CEO of Celeno. Photo: Techtime

Renesas Electronics Corporation has announced the successful completion of the acquisition of Celeno for approximately US$315 million. Headquartered in Israel, Celeno offers a wide range of wireless communication solutions, including advanced Wi-Fi chipsets and software solutions. Among them the industry’s most compact chipset for Wi-Fi 6 and 6E. The deal will significantly enhance the connectivity portfolio of Renesas.

The company explained that Celeno’s technologies, combined with Renesas’ offering of MCU/MPU/SoC processors, wireless ICs, sensors and power management technologies, creates a comprehensive, end-to-end connectivity solutions for IoT, infrastructure, industrial and automotive applications.

Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas, said: “Building on our recently-expanded connectivity portfolio following the Dialog acquisition, the addition of Celeno provides us with more advanced Wi-Fi connectivity capabilities. Renesas is now strongly positioned to capitalize on the growing opportunities from the massive rise in connectivity and requirements created by increasingly connected world.”

Techtime has learned that the new Celeno-centered design center will develop connectivity solutions for the Automotive industry, including V2X chips. Celeno was established in 2005 by the President & CEO Gilad Rozen. It received US$140 Million investments from high profile bodies such as Cisco, Samsung and major VCs. Its main competitors are Qualcomm, Broadcom and Mediatek. Most of its 170 employees are located in Israel. During 2020 Celeno shipped 15 million chips to costumers, for total sales of US$37 Million.