WaveScan wins the VINCI Challenge at VIVATECH 2019
VivaTech is considered one of the world’s largest rendezvous events for startups and leaders to celebrate innovation. It’s a yearly gathering in Paris of the over 120K attendees including over 12K startups and 3.5K investors as well as some of the world’s brightest minds, talents, and innovative products.
This year, WaveScan, led by our IEEE Singapore & IEEE Entrepreneurship volunteer Kush Agarwal, participated in VivaTech on an invitation from VINCI, under one of their challenges. Each year, several French technology companies such as Engie, Orange, Sodexo, Thales, VINCI, etc. organize Challenge Labs and/or Competitions as part of VivaTech to scout & shortlist worldwide startups building disruptive technologies suitable for their portfolio businesses.
VINCI is a global player in concessions, contracting, design, and finance as well as a leader in building facilities and operations infrastructure in approximately 100 countries. WaveScan was shortlisted for their Vinci Energies Challenge Lab ‘Support the Detection of Maintenance Operation on Buildings thanks to Drones’, along with the French startup SkyVisor and Danish startup Symbad.co.
WaveScan Technologies is an A*STAR’s (Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, Singapore) spin-off company developing the next generation of beamforming non-destructive testing (NDT) sensor systems and advanced AI algorithms. Their mission is to disrupt the current inspection and maintenance practices of the built environment sector by AI-enabled automated inspection solution.
WaveScan’s sensors use electromagnetic waves that can penetrate through medium and detect concealed defect patterns. The underlying sensor technology has been developed at the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), A*STAR over the last decade for sub-millimeter defect patterns such as crack and corrosion in aircraft and oil & gas pipelines. The resolution of these abnormalities in these industries is much smaller and can be disastrous if left unnoticed.
Using WaveScan’s sensor technology in infrastructure domain can help identify surface defects such as cracks, corrosion and precursor pittings as well as embedded defects such as tile disbonds, delaminations and loose or broken metal brackets for exterior infrastructure inspection. Similar sensors can be used for indoor facility maintenance issues such as scanning hidden pipelines and wiring, pest and rodent infestation detection behind walls and floorings, and water leakage detection.
According to WaveScan’s CTO Karthik Thothathri, “The motivation behind using AI-assisted operations is to enhance the overall productivity in Smart Building maintenance solutions towards better livable cities. We can now accurately make predictions basedbasing on the field data which trains the algorithms, and can customize the solution accordingly”.
WaveScan’s smart building NDT inspection & predictive maintenance solution has been supported by Singapore Green Building Council. As part of the challenge award, WaveScan is in discussions with various VINCI subsidiaries like VINCI Construction, VINCI Facilities, and Axians to start piloting their inspection technology at VINCI’s ongoing projects in Europe.
What’s next for WaveScan?
WaveScan is currently in discussions for their seed round funding. One of their main goals for 2019 is building the core team of scientists and engineers. They have already secured large scale paid pilot projects in Singapore, and are currently in discussions with stakeholders in China, Japan, and France.
Find out more about WaveScan Technologies here.
What’s next for IEEE Volunteer and Entrepreneur Kush Agarwal?
Kush hopes to continue to serve and grow his involvement with both the IEEE Entrepreneurship and IEEE Singapore Section leadership in 2019 and 2020. Kush is actively engaged in expanding IEEE membership and in supporting engineering-driven professionals in Region 10. His efforts have helped to involve IEEE in the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) sponsored event SWITCH as well as the affiliated Slingshot Competition.