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Building a Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Network

Project description

Automation brings together manufacturers

No longer a futuristic fantasy, robots are entering the workplace. Surviving the rise of automation can be a tricky business for many labour-intensive industries struggling to remain competitive. This is especially true for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) active in industries demanding robotic solutions. The aim of this EU-funded BRAIN project is to transform existing OEM equipment into autonomous machines. The Kobi Company, an award-winning robotics company in Belgium, is behind this endeavour. Its patented and highly scalable robotics platform (the 'Brain') can integrate into existing OEM equipment. The project’s aim is to establish mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with OEMs. This will allow Kobi to build on its strong distribution networks and sales channels, achieving hyper-scalability.


The Kobi Company (“Kobi”) is a young, award winning robotics company based in Leuven, Belgium. The problem which Kobi solves and which is driving this demand, is the fact that in many labour-intensive industries, the number one problem for companies is finding skilled personnel whilst maintaining a competitive price. Manufacturers (OEMs) active in these industries know the market is demanding robotic solutions, but many do not have the expertise to tackle this robotization wave by themselves. That is why OEMs turn to Kobi and its patented and highly scalable robotics platform (the “Brain”) that can easily be integrated into existing OEM equipment and turn them into autonomous machines. The Brain far outperforms any existing alternative on the market today from a price/performance perspective. Furthermore, the robotics platform is reinforced with an Artificial Intelligence layer to improve contextual and environmental awareness. The product-market fit and economic feasibility has been confirmed by signed contracts Kobi has closed with several large OEMs. Kobi has chosen for a business approach whereby existing OEMs are no longer regarded as direct competitors but as strategic partners. Establishing mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with OEMs will allow Kobi to capitalize on their strong (distribution) networks and sales channels, thereby achieving hyper-scalability. This SME project aims to fine-tune the Brain, finalise the go-to-market strategy, level the playing field with respect to the large OEMs, and the exploitation plan for immediate implementation to accelerate commercial scale-up so that the company can rapidly grow internationally. Revenue forecasts are expected to increase from ~€ 1 million in 2019 to ~ € 12 million by 2021 and €99 million by 2023. To support the surge in sales, Kobi demands a rapid employment increase, from 7 FTEs to 125 FTEs by 2023.

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Net EU contribution
€ 1 714 195,88

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 448 851,25