University of Bremen: Startup from the University of Bremen Wins Science Award

This is another strong endorsement of the excellent research and development carried out at the University of Bremen: The startup Ubica Robotics GmbH, which emerged from the university, has now received the EHI Foundation’s Science Award, endowed with 50,000 euros, in the category “Best Startup”. The award ceremony took place on June 1, 2022, during EuroCIS – the most important European trade fair for retail technologies – in Düsseldorf.

Founded in 2020, Ubica Robotics develops autonomous scanning robots that create digital maps of retail stores. The data captured by the robots on a daily basis provides information on the layout of the store, the location of products, and the actual inventory and turnover of goods. They thus enable a significant increase in efficiency and productivity in retail business processes.

Gaps on shelves are specifically identified early on by the digital twins. The shelf layout can be adapted to sales and the supply chain can be individually optimized for each store. This not only makes processes more cost-efficient, but also improves the shopping experience for customers.

Technology Based on Successful EU Project
Ubica Robotics was created as a university spin-off by the Institute for Artificial Intelligence under the leadership of Professor Michael Beetz. The technology is based on results of the “REFILLS” research project funded by the European Commission. “Ubica is a prime example of the path from top university research to commercial success,” says Michael Beetz. He himself was already awarded the 2021 Science Prize for the best chair project with the related topic “Semantic digital twins as a knowledge base for stores” (“Semantische digitale Zwillinge als Wissensbasis für Filialen”).

“The company represents the entire value chain from successful basic research to efficient use in real application areas in industry,” says Beetz. In addition, the digital semantic twins, which are created by Ubica robots and combined with modern knowledge processing technologies from the University of Bremen, form the basic technology for the digital innovation platform “Knowledge4Retail” (K4R). K4R is one of the central projects of Bremen’s AI strategy and is funded as part of the AI Innovation Competition of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. More than half of the partners come from Bremen.

The EHI Foundation was established by the EHI Retail Institute e.V. It promotes the exchange between science and retail and motivates researchers to conduct research on retail topics. The foundation makes the results of research available for practical use and creates a lively dialog. The EHI Retail Institute itself is a research and educational institute for the retail industry and its partners with headquarters in Cologne.