Maybe you’ve read about Urban Resilience Challenge here at Swedish Startup Space earlier this spring. For the past months participants have been invited to pitch ideas with a potential to change the life for one billion people within ten years.
The Swedish finalists and the ultimate winner of the national competition was announced yesterday at Finansieringsdagen.
Winner: RoboSweeper by Virpal Singh!
Congratulations! So in short, what is RoboSweeper? “It is a concept for automatic waste disposal and recycling using the state of the art robot technology existing today. The end result will be less garbage in the street, and instead we get energy and useful raw material. This in turn will finance the business model.”
Virpal spent a year in Ethiopia which gave him many thoughts about the challenges in developing countries. He has developed a genuine passion for solving medical problems, and hopes that RobotSweper could play its part by reducing diseases caused by lack of garbage disposal.
What would be the next step? How do you prototype something like this? “Well, we will of course have to limit the scope. Geographically, but also in what kind of garbage we would be handling. Some types of garbage are harder to sort and/or process than others.”
The prize is a fully funded place (priced $30,000) on Singularity University’s 10-week Graduate Studies Programme in California, where technologists meet to change the world through the application of exponential technologies. The background of the challenge is the forecast that the number of people who living in big cities will grow by another two billion humans in the coming two decades, which will put a tremendous stress on healthcare, communications, food supply, housing, infrastructure and other critical resources.