In business for two years, August Robotics (AR) operates out of Hong Kong and Germany, building high-tech B2B solutions. And the event sector’s repetitive, manual tasks are its primary focus.
Launched at UFI, St Petersburg, in November 2018, Lionel is an aptly branded case in point.
“Every exhibition is different,” AR Founder/CEO Alex Wyatt tells Event Industry News, “but the set-up is similar, starting with the painstaking process to map out every square foot for 1,000s of ‘booths’.
“Typically, the facts from a CAD drawing are copied onto show footprint by a team of people, flaws and all.
“With humans, it only has to be a tiny bit out at the start to be catastrophic by the end,” Wyatt continues.
“The new alternative is to send the CAD direct to our robot. It’s 10 times faster than a human; you simply press the red button and it prints the detail onto the floor extremely accurately.”
A lot of the build work at exhibitions is at height too and AR robots can mark the floor while the rigging is going on. “There isn’t the same health and safety risk.”
Lionel came to market on the back of extensive research, “before the first line of code was written” and, according to AR, all of the exhibition companies it asked were interested in the concept, and many offered their facilities for testing.
“August Robotics has focused a lot of attention on the German Messe market with very positive feedback,” Wyatt nods. “The robot had time on the floor at UFI, being put through its paces, and we’re in the middle of pricing discussions.
“We’re a sub-contractor, a service,” he explains. “We turn up at a hall with a foreman and multiple robots in the truck and it’s the same charging structure as the traditional method. Clients pay by the hall.”