The Group Employeneurs Award of 2019: Throwabot
It all started 3 years ago as a small project at TMC. Today it is an impressive project in which 9 people from different technical disciplines participate. Danny Hameeteman, co-founder of Sita Robotics and one of the initiators of the TEL project Throwabot, has been working on the project since 2016.
For those who don’t know the Throwabot yet: it is a compact robot that can be used to explore dangerous situations. The robot is easy to control, has the size of a small elongated tube and weighs only 1 kilo. Due to its clever design, it can survive falling from a height of several meters.
This year, the winner of the Group Employeneurs Award of 2019 was announced at TMC’s 20th anniversary party. Danny knew that the Group Award would be presented that evening, but he did not expect that the Throwabot would be crowned as the winner: ''I didn’t expect this beforehand. It makes me very proud that we have achieved this together with the project team. Next to this project, we all have our own project at multiple clients. We have already received the bronze award before, which gave us the confidence that the project was on the right track. The 1st prize gave us an enormous boost and made us realize that we can save lives with this product. After all, this is a motivation for most project members to make this project a success.''
Working on various projects
From the beginning, Danny had hoped that the project would eventually become a startup. "I had never thought that I would be still working on this project over three years later. There is still a lot of challenge and dynamics in the development of the Throwabot. Fortunately, I can work on the project at TMC two days a week. A great opportunity I got from TMC. Besides the project, I work three days as a System Engineer at MTA,'' Danny explains.
"The 1st prize gave us an enormous boost and made us realize that we can save lives with this product."
The current project team consists of Danny Hameeteman, Toine Kuipers, Bart van Liere, Koen Ruefli, Luc Meijer, Mart Raimond, Tom Kafoe, Joost Haverkamp and Dania Elokda. They are now testing their prototype line at several customers. We are in increasing contact with the end users within defense. However, the tests are temporarily postponed because of the COVID-19 situation. We are also carefully contacting people within in the police, the fire department and in the security sector. Our next goal is to sell a few robots,'' says Danny.
Besides recognition for their hard work, the project team won a monetary prize by winning the Employeneurs Group Awards. Danny says: ''TMC has made it possible to continue developing the Throwabot at least until this summer. It is important to us that the first prototypes are going to be sold soon. Developments in the market are going fast and we are aware that there are other players in the market.''
From a TEL project to your own start-up
In September 2019 Danny Hameeteman established his own startup Sita Robotics together with Toine Kuipers and Bart van Liere. Danny: ''The TEL project is mainly about the technical development and the challenge of the Throwabot. Sita Robotics is about applying the technique to potential customers. The commercial part is emphasized here. In 5 years time I expect that Sita Robotics will be an independent company and will have a line of robots with which we can save lives. Until then, we will continue to work hard on the robot.''
Would you like to know more about the Throwabot? Read the article that was published in 2018.