Robotify, a virtual robotics platform founded by two former Dublin City University students, has won a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) worth over €450,000.
The contract will see the Dublin-based startup, which raised €1m in March, provide robotic simulations for businesses in the agriculture, oil and natural resources, large infrastructure, and freight and remote testing sectors using real-time satellite imagery from the Sentinel 1 and 2 satellites that orbit Earth.
"Instead of having to conduct on-site testing, for example, an engineer working remotely on a mining project in western Australia could configure their robot in our Simbotify engine and pull the latest data from the Sentinel toolkits to trial the efficacy of their autonomous robot's performance across a multitude of terrains," said Robotify CEO Adam Dalton.
"Robotics enablement is a big requirement for the future of up-skilling and training of the workforce, which is moving towards device agnostic experience. People don't want to download clunky software packages on their devices with a bad user experience," he added.
"In order to make robotics and space technology accessible at scale, it must be accessible across all devices. Our unique engine enables this innovation by uniquely providing fully native in-browser simulations, with no downloads needed.
Dalton said the company would bring space tech and robotics worth billions of dollars "right into your browser, making it easier than ever before to access virtual robots in a seamless way".
The firm has taken on seven more staff since March and Dalton estimates its workforce will double from its current 16 by the end of next year. Robotify earns revenues by charging clients a license fee and then a fee per virtual robot.
"We are investing strongly in our product development so we can scale up , and our investment in product and sales and marketing is paying dividends. So far this year, we have established a solid US client base and signed distribution agreements in Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, and more Asian countries.
"We are beginning to work with some large industrial brands so they can provide realistic simulations of their industrial robotics to support their marketing and sales teams," Dalton added.
Earlier this year, the firm partnered with Indian educational robotics company Avishkaar to develop a virtual International Robotics Championship.
It also launched on Clever, an online learning portal for US schools serving 15 million students a month.
Robotify was founded in 2015, and has raised €1.3m to date.
It is backed by Sláinte Healthcare founder Andrew Murphy, Enterprise Ireland and a number of Irish angel investors.