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Saving lives with technology: The Throwabot

A lucky chance inspired Employeneur Danny Hameeteman to design a life-saving robot.

“In 2016, after I had gained my degree in Systems and Control, I started working for TMC Mechatronics. Although I did not have an assignment yet, TMC was confident that I would find one,” Danny Hameeteman says. While looking for an assignment that suited him, Danny saw something that inspired his creative curiosity. “Accidently, a colleague and I read a request from the Navy. They were looking for a company that could deliver a robot designed to safely collect information on hijacked ships in Somalia.” The requirements were very specific, and the delivery time was impossible, but Danny did not hesitate to start his own project – he has always had an affinity for entrepreneurship and robotics. After a pitch to the board of TMC, ‘Project Throwabot’ became a reality. Within the TMC Entrepreneurial Lab Danny and his team started working on the prototype.

The Throwabot is a compact, throwable reconnaissance robot that can be used to create battlefield awareness. Throwabot is easy to operate, is the size of a small ball, and weighs just 1.5 kg. Due to its robust design, it can survive a fall of several meters. Its main goal is to explore interior spaces and gather information in situations that would be dangerous to humans. Danny explains: “Situational awareness has become increasingly important, especially in hazardous or dangerous environments. Drones are not sufficiently silent or intuitive when operating, and they have limited operation time. Throwabot overcomes these limitations.”

"My goal for the future is to start a spin-off and
use our technology to save lives."

The project has already gained a lot of publicity. The Throwabot team has won the TMC Employeneurs award, among others, for inspiring kids with technology during Dutch Technology Week in Eindhoven. “I am very proud that we were invited to the annual board event at the Ministry of Defence, where we were able to present our startup company alongside other startups. I even talked to the head of the General Intelligence and Security Service.”

Nowadays, Danny is working with great pleasure as a Mechatronics Design Engineer on a project at ASML – a large international company in the semiconductor industry. But he isn’t letting go of his dream to start his own company. “TMC supports us financially, but also has all the connections and knowledge that we need. My goal for the future is to start a spin-off and use our technology to save lives.”

Within the TMC Entrepreneurial Lab (TEL) our Employeneurs are given the opportunity and means to realize their own technological innovations which in some occasions even lead to their own startup company. The TEL is one of the five pillars of our Employeneurship model.

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