The Top 5 Hardware Startups Of 2017
As we kick-off 2018, let’s take a moment to look back over the previous 12 months and see what 2017 has brought us in terms of hardware innovation. The world of tech hardware, in Robotics and beyond, has flourished in 2017, with some exciting new innovations and startups coming up through the ranks. Here are just five of the many best hardware startups of 2017 from across the board that will most likely continue to do amazing things in the months to come.
WaveOptics had a very successful 2017, raising £12m in their Series B funding round in July. The augmented reality company offers a Module Program which enables users to evaluate waveguides and development of those waveguides, to source AR modules for faster prototyping and for the production of AR products. In addition, WaveOptics’ Phlox 40 transparent optical waveguide for full colour, near-eye augmented reality displays. WaveOptics will be releasing its Developer Kit in July 2018.
London-based Ai Build is developing technology for the 3D printing of large-scale objects in a way that is much faster than any current system, as well as significantly more cost effective. It can currently print structures with dimensions up to 3.2m x 2.4m x 2.8m, though its largest project, the Daedelus Paviliion, which was 5 metres high and 4.5 metres wide.. Ai Build attracted £75,000 of seed funding from Seedcamp last year, and is set for great things in the years ahead.
Open Bionics is an open-source initiative focusing on the development of prosthetics and robot hands for the Medical sector. The company received over £80,000 prize money when it won International UAE Robotics for Good Award, as well as large sums awarded via seed and equity funding. The off-the-shelf materials used make the prosthetics created by Open Bionics significantly cheaper and easy to manufacture than many alternative technologies in the space. It even teamed with Disney a few years back for a range of superhero themed prosthetics for kids!
Animal Dynamics, a spinout of the University of Oxford’s Zoology department, is inspired by naturally-occurring designs. Their designs have included a drone modelled on a dragonfly, and a flapping propulsion water-based vehicle inspired by fish and cetacean movement. By studying and mimicking the best propulsion designs in nature, they hope to bring more efficiency to the hardware we design for the future. The work they’ve produced so far is astounding and rather beautiful, bordering on art as much as science
It’s hardly possible to name the top hardware startups of 2017 without mentioning Starship. You have probably seen videos and articles about the Starship delivery robots - they’ve been pretty hard to miss. The founders of Starship were part of the team that founded Skype, so their engineering know-how has already been pretty well proven. Their robots may be the new way that we receive parcel and takeaway deliveries, if - that is - they get full approval for public use. In September, Starship was named among the ‘hottest startups in London’ by Wired magazine, and is certainly one to watch very closely in 2018
These are just some of our favourites, but there are many more we haven’t the space to mention. Who would be on your list for the best hardware startups of 2017?