Imagine that you are driving a car, you hear something rattling. You get a little irritated and want to find out what is making the sound to silence it. But there are those who instead are interested in the rattling sound since it implies that there are vibrations, vibrations that can be used for creating energy.
Find the solution
To avoid unnecessary cables and to make it easier to install, it has become increasingly common in both industry and society to use wireless systems. The disadvantage of wireless systems though is that each unit has to get its power through its own disposable battery, which will run out and need to be replaced eventually.
Also within Saab Training, wireless systems were used, for example on laser simulators. The two engineers, Per Cederwall and Dan Erichsén at Saab Training Systems noticed in their work the extensive organization needed for handling these batteries, which included everything from planning and warehousing to check battery status and not to mention the extensive management of used batteries. When they realised that the laser simulators they worked with at Saab Training Systems were often used in environments with vibrations, it triggered the idea that instead of having to replace batteries so frequently, one could instead take advantage of the existing vibrations to recover energy – the idea of creating energy from vibrations was born.
Get an idea to grow
The idea got attention and created interest. It was patented, but wasn’t quite ready to be commercialized. It needed to mature and Saab therefore approached Encubator and Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship to suggest that the idea could be one of the projects that their students could get to work with, to see if they could take it further into being a true usable innovation.
During this time Erik Godtman Kling and Viktor Börjesson started their studies at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. Among the projects presented to them to choose between was this project about energy harvesting. They were fascinated not only with the technology – to provide power only through vibrations, but with what this technology could bring to people and societies.
The two students took on the project and the next step for them was to figure out in what areas their technology could be used. Erik and Viktor explain:
“Now we had access to this fantastic technology and we were fascinated with its possibilities. We just had to figure out, concrete, where it could be used. We tried to come up with areas of applications that customers themselves may not even have thought of– sometimes more or less far-fetched attempts and ideas we must say.”
Erik and Viktor then sat down and rang up an infinite number of possible investors and presented their idea. They were extremely honest and transparent about ReVibe Energy as a company but also on the expectations of those who invested. This approach bore fruit as it turned out.
Both Erik and Viktor have always been interested in new things and they both wanted an education where they could work with something concrete and create something of value. It felt natural for the two to begin at the Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship.
“I have always been inventive and wanted to try out ideas. Ever since I was a kid I have had the idea about wanting to be my own employer”, Viktor says.
Erik is glad that they have been two from the very beginning of the project.
“A journey like this is a great experience, but it is not always an easy ride, it has its challenges, and then it is extremely important to have a working partner so you can encourage each other”, Erik says.
Today Per combines his work at Saab with his work with Erik and Viktor at ReVibe Energy. Viktor is the CEO and manages the operational responsibility while Erik is responsible for the strategic part and Per focuses purely on the technical part. They see very few limitations with the technology and give us two examples:
“Imagine in the future, it could even be possible to use the technology in advanced health care, like a self-providing pacemaker. It would just be operated on once and then work its whole life, without risky and expensive surgeries that are needed due to battery capacity.”
“It would also be great to be the producer of the next generation of wave power. Technically, we can use the same principle as in current products, but visually you can imagine modules that float on the surface, almost like rubber ducks, and bobbing with the waves. This would be precisely the natural power of the wave movements that we benefit from. If we could do this it would mean that a wave power solution for easy installation and maintenance will be available, which current solutions don’t really offer”.
All three agree that this technology is very broad and the possibilities for future are endless.
Some of Saab’s development project results in product ideas that fall outside the core areas. Saab Ventures role is to drive and develop the business together with other co-investors before finding a natural home for each company. Saab Ventures’ other purpose is to find and invest in small, rapidly growing companies that could eventually complement Saab’s portfolio.
NOTE: The following is a re-post from saabgroup.com, follow link for original post.