41. Touchlab

Robots can now take a step closer to resembling humans with Touchlab’s e-skin technology.

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Founder: Dr Zaki Hussein
Founded: 2018
Website: touchlab.io

It smacks of science fiction – robots that can feel. But Touchlab’s e-skin technology does just that – gives robots the power of human touch.

Founded in 2018 by Dr Zaki Hussein, Touchlab technology has created an e-skin system thinner than human skin which can be wrapped around both hard and soft robots. This enables robots to feel things that we as humans take for granted – like pressure, location, and direction – in real-time.

This innovation is what impressed our judges. The Scottish business is seeking to enter unrealised markets with their faux skin tech – think areas like warehouse and fulfilment, humanoid robotics, healthcare, and even nuclear decommissioning.

The Scottish business is seeking to enter unrealised markets with their faux skin tech - think areas like warehouse and fulfilment, humanoid robotics, healthcare, and even nuclear decommissioning

Unsurprisingly, Touchlab’s forward-facing outlook on robotics has earned it a place in the 20 finalists in the global $10m ANA Avatar XPrize competition. This achievement is owed in no small part to their development of a full-body, tactile Telerobot, which is designed to transport human presence to a remote location in real-time.

What’s more the touchy-feely tech startup has secured a £3.5 million Seed investment led by Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest and most active early-stage investors. This is placing Touchlab in a favourable position to push to become the 4th ever Scottish Unicorn.

Blurring the barriers between the human and robotic touch in an exciting transcendence of technological boundaries, It’s clear that, with Touchlab’s arrival on the Startups 100 Index 2023, what might have once seemed futuristic is now very much our reality.

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