One of 132 successful women in Europe
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pınar Oğuz Ekim, Lecturer at Izmir University of Economics (IUE), was awarded a 75 thousand Euro grant from the European Union for her autonomous transport robot developed for use in the supply centers, warehouses or factories of large companies. Going global with the robot that can draw routes with the help of artificial intelligence and reduce the need for manpower by 70 percent, Ekim became one of 132 women who received this support. Stating that she will use the grant she received within the scope of the program called ‘Women TechEu’ for women technology entrepreneurs who have achieved successful works in their field, in promotional activities abroad and technological development, Ekim said, “We want to reach big companies in Europe and gain a place in the foreign market.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pınar Oğuz Ekim from Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Izmir University of Economics, founded the company ‘Advoard Robotics’ in 2020 with her students Bekir Bostancı, Mehmet Emre Söyünmez and Sercan Çağdaş Tekkök. Focusing their work on autonomous robots, the IUE team developed a transport robot that can be easily produced and transported, has the ability to maneuver, and allows more efficient use of manpower. Advoard Robotics made a rapid entry into the domestic market and Vestel became the first customer of the robot. Under the leadership of Assoc. Prof. Ekim, the thriving project received one award after another.
ONE AWARD AFTER ANOTHER
Approximately 1.5 years ago, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ekim and her students ranked third in Turkey in the Future of Automotive Design Competition organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, the Turkish Exporters Assembly and the Automotive Industry Exporters Association. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ekim then managed to make it in the top 5 in the Techno Women Entrepreneurs Academy Program, which was established in cooperation with the Turkish Exporters Assembly and the Turkish Economy Bank and carried out by the “TIM-TEB Entrepreneurship House”. Ekim ranked second in the innovation and technology competition called ‘Başakşehir Living Lab’ and ranked first in the TET Project Market, where many ambitious projects took place across Turkey.
PROVED HER SUCCESS IN EUROPE
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ekim, who became one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in Turkey with the robot she developed, recently received the 75 thousand Euro grant given by the European Union within the scope of the program called ‘Women TechEu’. Ekim, who was one of the 132 women who were entitled to receive the grant after a detailed examination among thousands of applications, proved her success in Europe.
THREE DIFFERENT CARRYING CAPACITIES
Stating that the grant will create a great opportunity for them, especially at the point of going global, Ekim gave information about the robot and said, “For example, you have a large warehouse of thousands of square meters belonging to your factory. It is a laborious, long and error-prone job to carry a material here with manpower to the desired location and place or pick it. However, thanks to our robots that communicate with each other (as a fleet) and plan the most efficient routes with the help of artificial intelligence, which have different carrying capacities such as 100, 500 and thousand kilograms, it is possible to perform these operations three times more efficiently. Our robots have a precision of 3 centimeters at the point of finding the specified location. It has been proven by tests that they are very good at navigating. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, it is possible to observe the robots even through smart watches and give work orders. We opened a showroom in the 75 square meter area in Izmir Bilimpark, companies can come here and examine our robots.”
WE PUT A LOT OF EFFORT
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ekim continued as follows: “We will continue to improve our robots and add new features to them with increasing technology. Our biggest goal is to expand abroad and ensure that this beautiful project is adopted by the companies there. I think that we deserve this, that we have developed a project that is worth it. I, my students and our team, which has now reached 10 people, have contributed a great deal to the success of our robots today. It is very nice to be rewarded for this struggle and effort. However, we also aim to represent our country in Europe in the best way possible and to make our autonomous robot known in wider circles. I believe that the grant from the European Union will strengthen our hand a lot. It will give us advantages both financially and in terms of prestige."