Robert Quinn is the founder of MakeSense and an honorary visiting researcher within the Manipulation and Touch Laboratory, Intelligent Systems and Networks Research Group, Imperial College London (ICL). Winner of the prestigious Young Innovator Award, and youngest person to be named as the sole inventor on a Defence Science and Technology Laboratory patent, at age 22. Invested life savings in MakeSense.Contact
The most effective non-visual wayfinding technology for vision impairement.
Assisitive technology for blindness
Pre-seed: £250k private capital, approx £600k research grants
Of the 292,000 blind people in the UK, 40% cannot make necessary journeys and 50% need support leaving the house. AI-driven localisation technologies can localise a person with centimetre accuracy, but have not had the expected impact on the blind community. This is because communicating enough navigation information to someone who cannot see a screen has previously been impossible. Audio and vibration cues do not provide the fidelity that is required to enable independent wayfinding. We uncovered this gap in non-visual interface technology via interviews with more than 40 blind persons, and via building and testing various devices ourselves.
MakeSense has developed a remarkable new capability to efficiently communicate 3D spatial information via the sense of touch. Formal scientific trials with blind volunteers in March 2023 demonstrated efficacy which is more comparable to natural sight than to vibration or audio cues.
We are intending to profit by selling our devices via regional distributers. The USA will be out biggest market.
There are many companies that exist which make vibrating ‘smart canes’ and navigation apps that use audio cues. These are not effective and therefore do not have significant market traction. There are other start-ups working on new human-machine interface solutions but we have tried these alternative soltions ourselves and found them to be impractical.
3 letters of support/intent, collaboration agreement with Blind Veterans UK.
Investors – We are looking to do a multimillion seed raise next year. We have soft commitments of £1million from existing angels but we need more than this. Collaborators – MakeSense operates at the cutting edge of robotics and AI. We already work with world leading experts and want to find more.