Wow!! We’re honored to have received the title of Denmark’s best climate idea.
The judges were on the lookout for an idea that reduced CO2 emissions, helped us adjust and deal with the climate crisis, and could be implemented right away. Robotto ticked all three boxes.
In collaboration with the Footprint firm, a study of historical fire data and firsthand interviews with Nordjyllands Bredskab and GRAF Bombers in Spain showed the following:
1. The ability to minimize burn sizes by 60%. In the beginning hours of a wildfire, firefighters use manpower to survey and understand the fire, giving it time to grow. With Robotto, both firefighting teams saw the ability to understand the first much faster, giving them the ability to begin fire suppression methods sooner, putting out the fire faster.
2. The ability to save between 50 and 70% of man-hours. When you’re able to put the fire out faster, you require less support from your team.
3. The ability to reduce emissions by 60%. Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service* (CAMS) found that in 2021 wildfires emitted 148% more than the entire EU fossil fuel industry in 2020. It is imperative we find a way to control these extreme fires, as they will only continue to grow in frequency and ferocity as the planet continues to warm. With Robotto Fire, the professionals at the Footprint Firm found that with the reduced burn size, the estimated reduction in emissions would be 60%.
Approximately 840 million tones burn yearly worldwide. That’s the same as 28 Denmark’s were ablaze yearly. If Robotto Fire is used in only 10% of these fires, it would mean more than if Denmark stopped emitting CO2 altogether. (Denmark emits 61 million tons of CO2 yearly.)
Many believe that to reduce emissions, we must reduce our consumption, and change our lifestyles altogether- and while that may be true to some extent, solutions that tackle issues beyond the reach of the everyday consumer have the potential to impact global emissions on a much larger scale. It’s important that, on a whole, we support innovative solutions that go beyond the consumer’s personal responsibility, and look to influence practices within supply chains and governmental practices to reduce emissions across the board.
Since 2019, the team has been perfecting the development of the software after the completion of their Aalborg University Project (which inspired the software). After tedious testing both in simulation and in the field with Nordjyllands Beredskab and GRAF Bombers in Spain, the software is ready for use by the world’s fire services. By the taping of the show, we could announce that two licenses had been sold to DEMA, Denmark’s emergency services, and that we had grown our distributor network, with a new distributor in South Africa. These advancements on the commercial side displayed actual interest in the software, showing them the software’s ability to make changes not tomorrow, but today!
We look forward to utilizing the prize money to further commercialize the software and acquire a fixed-wing drone so that we can increase the time in the sky, giving the software and firefighters more time to gather a fuller understanding of the situation below.
Let us know if you would like to learn more about the software!
Here’s a little about our time on the show:
At the beginning of May, the team traveled the 255 km to Svinninge, where TV2 tapped the final of their new show Min Idé – Vores Mission (Your Idea, Our Mission). We all arrived at 10 am, where we were welcomed by host and comedian Lasse Rimmer.
As Robotto was the last participant to make it to the finals, we had to wait the entire day as the three other participants made their way into the studio to present for the second time in front of the five judges. (Puk Elegård, Claus Dalby, Tommy Ahlers, Selma de Montegomery, Anders Morgenthaler).
First up was Mewalii who is focused on providing young girls with sustainable menstrual products made out of Hemp on a subscription basis. After their presentation, Stop Spil Lokalt, a grassroots organization helping supermarkets and communities in the fight against food waste had their turn in front of the judges.
Before it was our turn to present, Hemboo, who has created a unique new cement formula based on hemp and bamboo, helping reduce emissions from one of the most pollutive industries in the world.
As this was the final, production had placed two chairs in the studio. After Hemboo’s presentation, it was time for the judges to determine, who out of the three participants in front of them would continue to compete for the 500.000 DKK.
Co-founder and CEO Kenneth Richard Geipel was preparing his pitch as the rest of the team saw the two founders of Mewalii make their way out of the studio, as they had received the news they wouldn’t be going further.
Then it was our turn… we all made our way into the studio as Kenneth took his spot in front of the cameras. He dove right into his pitch, presenting Robotto Fire’s immense potential impact on wildfire emissions, as well as our new partnership with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
As Kenneth spoke the team was nervously standing by, trying to gain as much information from Christine as she translated via slack (while also nervously shaking). Once Kenneth finished his presentation the judges began asking him questions for him to expand upon. Then it was time for them to decide if we should be considered as a part of the final two participants.
After some back and forth, they decided we would replace Hemboo, moving us one step closer to becoming “Denmark’s best climate idea”. The judges were then given a half-hour to think it over while we were offered a snack and something to drink. Then it was time to hear their decision. Once again, we were ushered into the studio, this time the entire team to be placed in front of the cameras. The judges lined up in front of the two groups of potential winners and Tommy Ahlers began to speak.
As Tommy Ahlers spoke about their process of finding a winner, we began to have a feeling, that we wouldn’t be chosen as a winner. Suddenly Tommy Ahlers said, “and the winner is….” With a pause that felt like it went on forever, announcing that ROBOTTO WAS THE WINNER!
The judges walked over and handed us a framed drawing by Anders Morgenthaler of the five judges and the number 500.000. Confetti rained down and we celebrated the fact that others have seen the ingenuity in an idea that goes beyond changing our personal behavior, tackling emitters that go beyond the consumer’s personal reasonability.
We celebrated with some champagne and snacks before the team made the 225 km trip back to Aalborg. (With a stop at KFC that made the American VERY happy.)