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Twinsity’s AI-Driven Approach to Safeguarding Structural Integrity | Startuprad.io E 423



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Executive Summary


In this episode of Startuprad.io, Fabien Chalas, co-founder of Twinsity, discusses their innovative drone technology for inspecting aging infrastructure. Their software creates high-resolution 3D models and uses AI to detect defects like cracks and rust. Aiming to improve safety and efficiency, they utilize digital twin technology for frequent and detailed inspections. The company is expanding across Europe and aims to enter the North American and Latin American markets. Chalas delves into his background and the company’s evolution from a family business to a growing startup. The interview highlights Twinsity’s contribution to infrastructure maintenance and their plans for future growth.


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“So what comes next? Drones are just flying cameras producing thousands of images for 1 bridge for example but finding answers in these images, that’s the challenge, the bottleneck and that’s still the bottleneck.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsit

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“So everything that needs to be inspected on a periodic base, this, can be, so to say, used with our platform.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

Introduction

Welcome to another episode of Startuprad.io, your podcast bringing you cutting-edge insights from the startup world and today, we’re zooming in on an innovation that’s soaring to new heights, quite literally.

In this episode, you’ll meet Fabien Chalas, the co-founder of the pioneering startup, Twinsity. A forward-thinking company that’s making waves in infrastructure inspection through their revolutionary use of AI to analyze drone footage.

Fabien joins us to delve into how Twinsity harnesses drones to capture raw data, creating high-resolution 3D models and employing cloud-based AI systems for defect detection. From bridges signifying the engineering marvels of the 60s and 70s, to the lifelines of our modern world like high voltage lines and power poles, Twinsity is redefining safety measures and maintenance, ensuring a durable future for our structural giants.

We’ll explore the infrastructural challenges that drive Twinsity’s mission, their remote-first team dynamics, and the ambitious plans for crossing borders into the US, North America, and Latin America.

Sponsored by Hessen Trade Invest and the European Enterprise Network, join us as we uncover the story of a startup that started as a family business and evolved into a key player reshaping the landscape of infrastructural inspection. Whether you’re an investor, tech enthusiast, or just curious about the next big thing, this episode is for you.

So sit back, plug in, and let’s get ready to discover how Twinsity is taking the startup world to new heights.


Our Enabler HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen

This recording was made possible by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen. These organizations have made tremendous contributions to helping startup businesses succeed and thrive, providing a range of services from helping to find grants to ongoing partnerships. By taking advantage of these resources , startup companies can network and develop innovative strategies for success on the international stage. The dedicated support of HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen is paramount in providing startup businesses with the tools for lasting success. Learn more here: https://www.htai.de/ and https://www.een-hessen.de/


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Aging Infrastructure Concerns: “So now they are more and more reaching the end of their design life time, which means that we now need to deploy more sophisticated and ensuring safety measures and repair works and maintenance activities to prolong the lifetime of the bridges, compared to the design time.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

Questions Discussed in the Interview

  1. How does Twinsity’s remote-first approach affect their recruitment process and company culture, especially with team members spread across Europe and the US?

  2. What specific improvements could be made in the Kassel startup ecosystem to better support companies like Twinsity, and what role should local government and institutions play in this process?

  3. How does Twinsity’s technology change the traditional approach to inspecting infrastructure, such as bridges and high voltage lines, and what are the key benefits?

  4. Can you discuss the technical challenges and advancements required to enable drones to capture such detailed data for visual inspections and 3D model generation?

  5. What safety and maintenance challenges are associated with aging infrastructure, and how does Twinsity help asset owners address these issues more effectively?

  6. In what ways does the software’s use of AI enhance the accuracy and efficiency of defect detection in infrastructure, and how does it compare to other methods?

  7. Could you elaborate on the economic and environmental impacts of using drones and digital twin technology for infrastructure inspection compared to traditional methods like helicopter inspections?

  8. What are the strategic considerations for Twinsity as they plan their expansion to the US, North America, and Latin America, in terms of market needs and competitive landscape?

  9. How does Twinsity manage data security and privacy issues when handling large amounts of sensitive infrastructure data?

  10. Finally, how does Twinsity envision the future of infrastructure management, and what role will emerging technologies play in shaping this vision?

By delving into these questions, listeners can gain a deeper understanding of Twinsity’s innovative work in inspecting infrastructure and the broader impacts of such technology on society and the environment.

Infrastructure Durability Concerns: “So for example, in California, there there will be different, weather situations, compared to what we have in Europe, for example, in in Germany or in in Scandinavia. So we can’t really talk about the expected lifetime of those assets.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

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Advancements in Infrastructure Inspection: “I mean, that’s exactly how it works right now. And, not not just in the past, that’s still how many, companies do the the the inspection activities… But it’s quite expensive to to hire or to rent helicopters to do the job… So that’s where the drones get in to, automate this process to capture the data.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

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Advancements in Digital Twin Technology: “it’s a digital twin. That’s one of the proprietary technologies that we developed over the years to take all the data from the drones, from the asset owners, and produce a high resolution three d model of the object to be inspected like of of the overall bridge, or of 10,000 of power poles, or of the overall offshore oil platform.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

The Founder


In this episode, we have the pleasure of diving into the innovative world of drone technology as we chat with the co-founder of Twinsity, Fabien Chalas (https://www.linkedin.com/in/fabien-chalas/). Fabien’s journey into the startup realm is deeply rooted in his technical expertise and passion for addressing infrastructural challenges. Prior to Twinsity, he honed his skills as a software engineer at Ibotix, a company specializing in drone software solutions, and at the esteemed Fraunhofer Institute, where he immersed himself in the sphere of renewable energy infrastructure. His professional experience laid the groundwork for what would become a visionary approach to inspecting and maintaining vital assets through advanced technology.

Twinsity represents not just a business venture but also a family’s shared ambition to revolutionize the way we interact with and preserve our built environment. With his father as his co-founder, Fabien transformed an intimate familial collaboration into a blossoming startup with global aspirations. Twinsity’s unique selling point lies in their cutting-edge software capable of transforming drone-captured imagery into high-resolution 3D models of infrastructure assets. These assets, ranging from bridges to high-voltage power lines and industrial facilities, are critical to modern society, and Twinsity empowers asset owners and operators with unparalleled insights to ensure their safety and reliability. Through their innovative approach, Fabien and his team are redefining inspection and maintenance, forging a path toward a more secure and efficient future.

Innovative AI for Infrastructure Inspection: “The second part, as you mentioned, is the AI to autonomously detect defects and issues upfront in the data. So what this means is we take all the images and our AI runs over that to detect, like, for example, bridges, cracks, or rust.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

The Startup


Co-Founded by Fabien Chalas, a seasoned software engineer with a background that includes stints at Ibotix and the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology, Twinsity (https://twinsity.com/) stands at the forefront of infrastructure inspection and maintenance. This trailblazing startup specializes in utilizing drone-captured imagery to construct high-resolution 3D models of various infrastructure assets like bridges, power lines, and industrial facilities. Twinsity’s proprietary technology not only captures detailed images but also employs a cloud-based AI system for defect detection, capable of identifying issues as minuscule as 1 millimeter wide cracks, thereby setting a new standard in precision and reliability. Initially a family venture, Twinsity has evolved, driven by the vision of co-founders Fabien Chalas and his father, into a vanguard company in the infrastructure inspection industry with a growing international presence.

What distinguishes Twinsity from its competitors is the seamless integration of its two key technological components: cutting-edge digital twin technology and an advanced AI that autonomously detects structural issues, such as cracks and rust. This innovative approach offers a stark contrast to traditional methods, which typically involve engineer-conducted, helicopter-based inspections — limited in frequency and detail, not to mention costly. Twinsity’s technology allows for more frequent and far more detailed inspections, which are crucial, especially as the majority of bridges and other infrastructures erected in the mid-20th century approach the end of their design lifetime. Although specific fundraising details and milestones are not available at this time, Twinsity’s unique selling proposition lies in its visionary application of drone technology and AI, offering scalability and superior data analytics for infrastructure management — all while expanding its footprint globally with notable amplification into the North American and Latin American markets.Venture Capital Funding

Global Expansion Strategies: “So right now, we are quite, focusing on Europe, so especially on Scandinavia, on Netherlands, on Germany and the overall DACH region, but also now heading a bit into Southern Europe. And over the year, we will definitely we are looking into scaling into the US or North America and also Latin America as well.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

Hiring!

Twinsity is hiring. Have a look at their career website: https://twinsity.com/career/

Innovative Adaptability in Engineering Software: “That’s what we have in mind to develop, so to be that open and adaptive platform where our customers can specify what they want to detect and, the platform adaptively gets better for their specific problems.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity


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Startups Struggling for Office Space in Kassel: “Just one example is the, it’s quite I wouldn’t say impossible but it’s really challenging to get an office here in Castle for a start up.” — Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity

The Interviewer


This interview was conducted by Jörn “Joe” Menninger, startup scout, founder, and host of Startuprad.io. Reach out to him:



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Automated Transcript


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:00]:Hello, and welcome, everybody. This is Joe from stelabrate.o, your StartupRadio podcast at YouTube blog from Germany, bringing you another episode in our cooperation with the European Enterprise Network and Essentrade Invest. But before we get to that, I would like to welcome my guest, Fabian. Hey, Fabian.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:00:19]:Nice to meet you, Joe, and thanks really a lot for, yeah, inviting me today to speak about our exciting business with you.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:29]:Yes. We’ll talk a lot about big things today. That is not a dirty joke. The very simple reason is you guys are inspecting large infrastructure pieces, think bridge, think high voltage lines and stuff like that. But before we get into all of that and what you’ve done before, a little word from our sponsor. This recording is supported by Hessen Trade Invest and the European the enterprise Europe network. I’m sorry. Again, Madu, this recording is supported by Hessen Trade and Invest and the enterprise Europe network, Hessen.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:01:04]:This recording was made possible by HTAI and the Enterprise Europe Network, Hessen. These organizations have made tremendous contribution to having startup businesses succeed and thrive, providing a range of services from helping to find grants to ongoing partnerships. By taking advantage of these resources, start up companies can network and develop innovative strategies for success on the international stage. The dedicated support of HDAI and the enterprise Europe network, Hessen, is paramount in providing StartupRadio businesses with the tools for lasting success. Look for our dedicated sub podcast in partnership with them called Tech Startups Germany or on our Linktree. Now we got this out of the way, Fabian. Very happy to have you here, and we may tell our audience you are a software engineer by training. And and and you walk me through a little bit your life, what you did before you founded your current StartupRadio, Twin City.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:02:09]:Can you try to do that again? I I found especially entertaining that you changed your employer without doing anything.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:02:19]:Yes. Right. So, yeah, as you said, originally, I’m a software engineer. I studied computer science here in Kassel in Germany. It’s, yeah, between Frankfurt and Hanover, and started working at the company for my dad who cofounded a drone software company or drone hardware company as well, called Ibotix. In 2010, I was working there as a software engineer focusing on, let’s say, flight planning software for drones or for the drones that were built by Abbotix. And, yeah, stated that industry now with founding, Twinsity actually. In the meantime, I was at Fraunhofer Institute in Kassel working on, renewable energy, infrastructure.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:03:04]:Especially, I was focusing on virtual power plants which is like connecting decentralized renewable energy plants to, provide stability for the grid. Well, that’s just, let’s say, a different topic. And, yeah, in 2019, I started, founding Twinzity together with my father, and still being the software developer for this part, especially for the 3 d development of high resolution 3 d models and the processing of data actually that is generated by drones. So we are staying in the industry but concentrating more on the finding answers in the data that is captured by drones.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:03:46]:Mhmm. Before we get into, the finding answers part, you’ve been a software engineer at Ibotix, and that was the business of Yvette. And then it was bought by, Leica Gear Systems. And, basically, that’s how you changed your employer without ever leaving your current job. Right?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:04:07]:Yeah. The company, Ibotix, as you mentioned, was acquired by Leica Geosystems, which is a subsidiary of Hexagon. It’s quite a big player in the market for surveying equipment and, now drones as well and laser scanners and data, geospatial word data and so on. And they bought us and so we, let’s say, still was, well, Ebonics was still like an own company within this complex or within this subsidiary Leica Geosystems, So all developers were still at the company, still developing further. Joe, yeah, the title changed, the company changed, but the the job was the same.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:04:51]:And basically, we may already tease that your dad is also your cofounder in Twin Cities as well?

Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:05:00]:Right. Yes. We founded the company together, kind of a family business in the beginning. Now it’s not a family business anymore in the sense of that, it’s completely led by the family, but it’s now maturing into a, let’s say, more diverse start up.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:05:17]:Mhmm. The the there are not that many people who will actually watch this interview. But for those people who are watching this, who may tell them that you have pictures of high voltage lines and large windmills in the background. So that already sets the tone that some of the pieces of infrastructure we will be talking about pretty soon. Can you tell us can you take us along the journey how you and your father actually founded Twin City, and how did you come up with the name? Because, first thing everybody thinks, smart cities.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:05:54]:Mhmm. Yeah. So we started founding the company after leaving the previous company, Ibrox, which was sold like several years after it was sold. And in the time during the previous company, we recognized quite heavily the problem or the challenge of companies using drones that they don’t really know what to do with the images being collected by the drones. So what comes next? Drones are just flying cameras producing thousands of images for 1 bridge for example but finding answers in these images, that’s the challenge, the bottleneck and that’s still the bottleneck. So that was the reason why we decided to, let’s say, investigate this problem and try to find a solution to that that will analyze those huge amounts of images and generate high resolution three d data out of that. So producing like a Google Earth version of the asset but in much higher quality, that was the overall game at the beginning. So producing a digital twin, so to say, of an asset that is inspected by the drone.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:07:04]:That was the major component that we developed as the first, let’s say, starting point for Twin Cities. So how we can create a digital twin out of the images.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:07:15]:Mhmm. And when you talk about an asset, coming from the asset management background, not physical assets, but talking about bonds and, funds and, shares here. And that is something different. We always talk about structures when you talk about asset, plus it always implies that somebody owns it. And we can rightly assume the person or the entity who owns this asset is actually the one who is firing you. And, with you, it’s not flying the drone around, but basically, they drop you a lot of data.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:07:56]:Yes. Right. So when we talk about asset, as you said, it’s like about big infrastructure, objects like a bridge, high voltage power lines, industrial facilities, oil and gas platforms, but also buildings. So everything that needs to be inspected on a periodic base, this, can be, so to say, used with our platform. And you’re right, our major customers are the asset owners and operators. These that are responsible for, ensuring the safety, reliability of the assets that are interested in keeping them, let’s say, alive and not need to, no need to turn them off like for offshore platforms for example, or for road closures, or even more catastrophic events. So these are the the customers that we that we have. Those customers like asset owners already have drone programs in place.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:08:51]:So they already utilize drones for capturing the data of their assets. And so they are using our software and providing us with the images they already collect. And Joe we are not a service provider, we don’t own the drones, we don’t fly the drones, but we deliver the operating system, the software side for those asset owners that wants to get insights from the data they already collect.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:09:16]:And, just to be sure, what do you actually get? Do you already get 3 d images, or do you get just simple digital photos and videos and you have to do all the stuff with it?

Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:09:29]:Usually, we get, the the images, like, the data that is captured by the drones directly. So the raw data they the data drones capture. So this is especially RGB images, but also sometimes thermal data, like thermal images. But usually RGB for the visual inspection side. And we then can generate those 3 d models on our own internally. So we only need images and we create the 3 d model and we analyze the images for defects, basically.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:10:04]:And and and and as we’ve been speaking before, what what we, what I had in mind and many of our audience will have in mind, well, to bridge it stand there and that’s it. But actually you highlighted that there are quite some challenges for infrastructure and not like the Romans who built bridges who are still up and running today. The bridges we are or we have been constructing in the past have a planned lifespan of around 60 years. Right?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:10:35]:Right. Yeah. And they are built probably in the sixties seventies, the majority of all bridges. So now they are more and more reaching the end of their design life time, which means that we now need to deploy more sophisticated and ensuring safety measures and repair works and maintenance activities to prolong the lifetime of the bridges, compared to the design time. So it’s really important that we, say, strengthen them in order to reuse them or to still be able to use them over the next couple of years and even longer, rather than, let’s say, creating or building new bridges, which is much more heavy when it comes to the natural resources, human resources, and so on and so forth.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:11:29]:Every commuter here in the Rhein Main area can quite talk a lot about, breaches being not maintained as much as they should be. What comes to mind is 2 really big obstacles where people need to needed to drive around for, like, 30 minutes additional one way or stuff like that. That wasn’t fun and was, all the rage here in the Rhine Mine area for quite some time because first, one bridge was closed and rebuilt just, and there was one rebuild just next to it, and then another one on the on the on the same way to Frankfurt was closed for some time. They actually had an inspection truck, and the inspection truck data was so severe, they had to lock down the bridge and then had to take a lift and lift this truck off the bridge because it was not safe enough for the truck to continue. So there are some challenges out there. When we talked before, you said there is a life expectancy of those infrastructures. How long, for example, would something like high voltage line last or, as you said, like oil drilling rig or something like this? Do you have any idea about those assets?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:12:48]:That’s really depending on the type of assets, because, like a power voltage tower, or like, yeah, utility tower, can be made of steel, of, of concrete, or of wood. So it’s really comp depending on the material being used as well as the weather conditions at the site. So for example, in California, there there will be different, weather situations, compared to what we have in Europe, for example, in in Germany or in in Scandinavia. So we can’t really talk about the expected lifetime of those assets. Let’s say, defining a clear number of years. But for these kind of assets, it’s much more important to still know exactly about this, the condition of the assets because of these weather situations that can that are quite severe severe. And so the the assets like the Polpulse will deteriorate and will be more affected to those weather situations, which means, like like, that there there can be a lot of damages and potential defects that will be quite critical to those assets in order to maybe it needs to be or which means that those assets might need to be replaced or even can, collapse, which will turn off the overall utilities, so to say, in that region. So it’s really important that we know about the condition upfront in order to maintain those power poles, for example, or even, like, oil and gas refineries, offshore platforms.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:14:35]:Joe it’s not just about the time. Let’s say, how long or what’s the expected lifetime from the beginning on, from the design time, but it’s just really important in now over the next years to really know exactly about the condition.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:14:53]:I see. Before we get into a little bit what you guys doing and about the drones, what I found fascinating is he told me how those high voltage lines are actually have been inspected in the past. That means, somebody rented a helicopter, and you put, like, half a dozen engineers in this helicopter, and they flew along those high voltage power lines, which I assume was quite pricey. Even though what I had in mind was something like an open, an open door in a helicopter, somebody, tied to tied to the helicopter with all this gear and then looking out with the binoculars onto the different high voltage poles. Was there something close to realistic that happened in the past?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:15:43]:I mean, that’s exactly how it works right now. And, not not just in the past, that’s still how many, companies do the the the inspection activities. Because it’s I mean, that’s still the safest way to do it, compared to needing scaffolding or some climbers that will climb on the tower. It’s still better to do it, let’s say, not directly at the tower but with a bit of distance. But it’s quite expensive to to hire or to rent helicopters to do the job. It’s quite expensive to have 6 or like you said, different engineers sitting in the helicopter. And, I mean, with an helicopter you can’t do that many different power poles per day because you really need to be far and near to the pow pull and, still you you can’t get to the maximum details, so to say, that you probably would need to do. So that’s where the drones get in to, automate this process to capture the data.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:16:47]:Before we get into that, just one question to confirm. There are people whose job it is to climb on high voltage poles?

Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:16:57]:Pro again, this is not the favorable way. This is Yeah.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:17:03]:But for for repairs or something like that.

Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:17:06]:Yeah. That’s definitely happening.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:17:09]:Yeah. I’m curious if those guys get life insurance anywhere. Anyways, sorry. You got you got a little bit off the topic here. So that means people are flying drones. They they’re likely a little bit bigger than your average drone you have at Joe, and they capture a lot of pictures, which means it’s cheaper. Does it also mean your clients provide you more frequently with update, with pictures, with video, with infrared recordings to put in your database to maintain the digital twin in your database of the asset?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:17:48]:Absolutely. That’s the beauty about the, drones. They capture data autonomously. That means you don’t need to pilot anymore. I mean, that that that’s changing quite a lot now that drones will really capture the data automatically with with a predefined route without any pilot being involved anymore. So we always get the same number of pictures for the same route. And so, this route can be done every day, every week, every month, every 3 months Menninger on what the customer wants or what the asset owner is, yeah, relying on, what they want to do. So for us, it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekly base, a daily base, a monthly base.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:18:31]:But still it’s in in every case, it’s much higher frequency compared to hiring a helicopter than does it every 2 years once, so to say, or one time every 2 years. So, with drones, you you get really to much more frequent, inspections.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:18:51]:Mhmm. I see. And now comes the magic part. What are you guys actually doing with all those pictures, videos, infrared recordings, and so on and so forth? Personally, I would assume you have very capable AIs who then extract the necessary data from it. You have a big database where you put all of this in, and then you do have a digital twin in your database, where you would, I think, share again the data with the asset owner, with your client?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:19:24]:Well, that was a really good, some summary of our product or of our software. Joe, basically, there are 2 different components involved in the in the process. That is as you said, it’s it’s completely correct. It’s the it’s a digital twin. That’s one of the proprietary technologies that we developed over the years to take all the data from the drones, from the asset owners, and produce a high resolution three d model of the object to be inspected like of of the overall bridge, or of 10,000 of power poles, or of the overall offshore oil platform. So we just take the data and create this high resolution 3 d digital twin, all of that. And this digital twin can be visualized on any device with with our web platform. So you can use it on a tablet, the engineer can use it on a smartphone, on a laptop, in the office.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:20:17]:No matter where you are, it’s streamed, over the web into your web browser so to say, which Joe our software is cloud based software solution. The second part, as you Menninger, is the AI to autonomously detect defects and issues upfront in the data. So what this means is we take all the images and our AI runs over that to detect, like, for example, bridges, cracks, or rust. That just one 2 examples of many different defect types. So the software runs over all images, detects cracks, and so the engineers of the asset owners will eventually get a list of all cracks we found. And so they can review crack by crack and, give us feedback about if it this really is a crack or if it’s not a crack. So with every inspection we do or our customers do within the platform, our software gets better and better because we always ingest the data back into the training of the AI.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:21:19]:Talking about cracks and bridges here, how big or how small can they be, in order to be detected by your software? And, admittedly, of course, a lot is dependent on the quality of pictures you get delivered from the drones.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:21:35]:So it, actually, there’s no limitation in the size. So the bigger, the better for our software to detect, obviously.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:21:42]:That will be a takeout for Christmas. Okay. The bigger the bigger the bigger the bigger the bigger the price, Fabienne. There you go.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:21:53]:Yeah. But, I mean, in in, let’s say, in general, the the cracks can be up to 1 millimeter in size, so that’s the maybe the lower limit, which are the more relevant cracks to detect actually, for the software because bigger cracks will be detected even without the software. You can already see it when you have a look at the bridge being on-site. So it’s important that we especially, support those small, cracks, 1 millimeter in in width, for example, that, the human egg, I can’t see when you’d be on-site. So that’s really crucial that we recognize or that we did detect those issues, and we can. So up to 1 millimeter, as I said.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:22:37]:We do already have a pretty good understanding of what you guys doing, where you guys going. I do have a few questions for you on what you’ll be doing in the future. We’ve been talking about such a lot of about structures and assets. Is there one you would like to inspect with the software? What comes to mind are really iconic items like the Statue of Liberty, the Hoover Dam, the Eiffel Tower, the Brannenbaum Gate.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:23:09]:So the Eiffel Tower would be really, really interesting because it’s quite a big steel structure that is not really easy to model as of or to to process as a 3 d model. Because it’s that I mean it’s like a really big power pole or like a huge transmission tower but that size of an object is would be really challenging and thus it would be really interesting for me to see how the software is capable of doing exactly this kind of structure.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:23:42]:Mhmm. So the Eiffel Tower it is. We do have a lot of our audience in Europe, but also, something like, I don’t know, 50,000 listeners a month in the US and abroad. Where are you guys available? And is there, like, a real limit to, where the the the the the structure, the assets could be?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:24:12]:So right now, we are quite, focusing on Europe, so especially on Scandinavia, on Netherlands, on Germany and the overall DACH region, but also now heading a bit into Southern Europe. And over the year, we will definitely we are looking into scaling into the US or North America and also Latin America as well. So we are about to open an office over there in the next couple of months, hiring some people over there and, yeah. In the end, it doesn’t matter where the asset is. They are quite similar defects. A bridge in US looks quite the same like a bridge in in Europe. So there will be also cracks, rust, spawning, different defect types on on bridges as well as the power poles are also made of wood, steel, or concrete. So that’s quite comparable to Europe.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:25:14]:So for the from a software perspective, it doesn’t matter where the asset is.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:25:19]:I see. And when you talk about, Scandinavia, what came to mind is the very severe weather there. There could be some places where it gets minus 40 degrees Celsius. No idea what this is in Fahrenheit, but it’s freaking freaking cold. And, you have high voltage lines and stuff like this there, bridges. Plus, when you talked about the Netherlands, what came into mind are all the dam structures there. For everybody who’s not familiar with with the country, it’s called the Netherlands because a large share of this country is reclaimed from the ocean, and the actual level is already under the normal sea level. So they have to work with a lot of dams, a lot of, dewatering facilities in order to keep their country alive.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:26:06]:Is that something you’re working on?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:26:09]:For sure. So for bridges in Scandinavia, or let’s say for bridges in Scandinavia, we are quite heavily working with engineering companies over there that are giving us the expertise on specific damage types, like that are really known for Scandinavia, but they’re not happening in the rest of the world, for example, or that are really specific for those regions. So that’s exactly what we have in mind with our platform to to be agnostic in the sense that companies in Scandinavia can retrain our platform for their specific defects without us being involved into that, process. So they they are experts know exactly about the problems they have in Scandinavia, but we don’t. But they they know exactly Joe they can retrain our platform to be capable of detecting those issues as well. So Scandinavian version of the platform Joe to say, Scandinavian bridge version of our software. That’s what we have in mind to develop, so to be that open and adaptive platform where our customers can specify what they want to detect and, the platform adaptively gets better for their specific problems.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:27:28]:I see. And, before we get into that, minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit are minus 40 degrees Celsius. So everywhere it’s freaking cold. That’s it. I do believe if you have, your AI trained for Scandinavia with all the severe weather out there, specific defects on bridges and so on and so forth, maybe other countries like Canada would also profit from that. Talking about all those options for international expansions, are you guys actually open to talk to new investors?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:28:00]:Yes. We are actively raising our funding right now, which, shall be done until end of q2 this year.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:28:09]:Mhmm. I see. And, you guys are also looking for talented people to join you?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:28:14]:Absolutely. We are, looking into expanding our team right now. As I said, one part is US office and US expansion. But, on the same side, we are looking for really look, great software engineers in the cloud architecture and computer vision departments, as well as great business development managers and sales people for scaling our business in Europe.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:28:42]:Are they mostly remote or all remote positions included?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:28:46]:We are remote first company, so we are looking especially for remote jobs. We have a facility, office facility here in Kassel, but our team is quite spreaded around Europe and US already.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:29:03]:Mhmm. I see. For everybody who’d like to learn more, you can go down here in the show notes. There will be a link to Fabian’s LinkedIn profile, as well as the company website, as well as your careers website. And since this is incorporation with HESM Trade and Invest and the, enterprise Europe network here, there is your option to address the decision makers here in the state of HESM, ideas, concerns, things they could improve. Do you have anything to address here or questions to ask?


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:29:36]:So as you know, we are based in Kassel, which is quite nowhere of of Hessen, compared to Frankfurt, which is the central hub and on Darmstadt and Wiesbaden and probably other cities that are more known to be Startupradio, friendly. I mean, Castle is trying to do things in for StartupRadio I think there’s a lot of potential to optimize, the landscape for startups. Just one example is the, it’s quite I wouldn’t say impossible but it’s really challenging to get an office here in Castle for a start up. You you have some, like a campus Joe you have, like, a building for some start ups, but this is not really, let’s say, open to to any everybody. It’s really close to the university and so I think the ecosystem for university spin offs is quite good in Cassel already or in Hasen, especially in Cassel, but for other startups, I think the ecosystem can be more, yeah. I mean I mean, it can be broader. It can be more supportive for the StartupRadio the right maybe mentorships, but also something, yeah, quite easy like an office building where you can now finally start building your company. I think that’s, what still is, let’s say, to be optimized.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:31:10]:I see. So, Fabian, it was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you very much. Good luck for your expansion plans. And when you successfully launched in the in the US, we will report about it again.


Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:31:22]:Thank you very much, sir, for inviting me again. It was a pleasure talking to you. I think, yeah, I I liked it a lot and appreciate that. So let’s speak again once we are in US.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:31:36]:Sure. My pleasure. Have a good day. Bye bye.

Fabien Chalas — Co-founder Twinsity [00:31:38]:Bye bye.

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