Chordata Motion was one of the winners of the 2019 edition of SpinUOC, the University's annual entrepreneurship programme (photo: Chordata Motion)
Chordata Motion makes motion digitization suits
The company uses open source technology to make its products more accessible
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) has agreed to invest €80,000 in Chordata Motion, a start-up that specializes in developing motion capture and 3D digitization suits. The shareholding has been acquired via Invergy, the UOC's investment vehicle. Chordata Motion intends to use this new finance to fund its market launch, further R&D to improve its current product range, and advertising in order to achieve faster growth. This start-up was one of the winners of the 2019 edition of SpinUOC, the University's annual entrepreneurship programme.
An American anthropology professor who uses motion capture to understand how our ancestors started to walk. An Indian start-up that makes assistance and rehabilitation devices for people with functional diversity and studies the way our bodies move in order to achieve the most accurate adaptations. Or a New York-based Italian architect who designed a sculpture combining the concepts of movement, voids and solids to test the boundaries of art and technology. These are some of the practical applications made to date for the product made by Chordata Motion, a company founded in 2019 by three partners to provide technological solutions to both businesses and individuals.
Although until now it has been working with prototypes paid for by the UOC's recent investment, Chordata Motion will launch its first marketable version in late 2021. "Thanks to the financial support provided by the University, we can fund and speed up developments that are key to our current and future products, as well as establish strategic partnerships that we believe will yield great results," said the start-up's CEO, Juancho Casañas.
Mireia Riera, director of the UOC's R&I department, explained that this is because: "This entrepreneurial project fits in perfectly with Invergy's investment strategy: it's from the UOC community, it's innovative and it falls under the field of ICT. Plus, Chordata Motion' product that has applications in a variety of sectors, including academia, medicine, industrial design and sports, and has growth potential, an international outlook and a fully dedicated and highly committed team."
Committed to open source
One of this start-up's main competitive advantages is that the niche market it is entering only has a small number of competitors, and it is bringing new flexibility and modularity to motion capture, with control over data to an extent that was previously impossible, all this thanks to the open source model. Chordata Motion's products are flexible, customizable and affordable, allowing users to adapt the system to the specific needs of their own projects without incurring added costs while ensuring that they have full control over the data generated by the capture. Furthermore, as the system is open source, it can be developed and integrated in an infinite number of ways by the community of developers and makers that is forming around the brand.
From the three kits that it is already working on, the start-up plans to expand its range of products to include a glove to capture hand movement and the specific movement of fingers, increasing the current functionality, and a facial motion capture module.
Partnerships with the innovation ecosystem
The team headed by Chordata Motion's three founding partners works with leading members of the local innovation ecosystem on a regular basis. An example of this is the collaboration agreement recently reached with the TecnoCampus research and technology park in Mataró. Another example is its collaboration with Eurecat, which specializes in designing the textile solution for its kits. One of Chordata Motion's most valuable aspects is the fact that it works with open source software and enables buyers to make changes to the kits' software in accordance with their own needs and to share this knowledge.
Investment in entrepreneurship
The UOC will make this investment through Invergy, its investment vehicle founded in 2016 and forming part of the Hubbik platform to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the University. "Invergy was created to foster the economic development of society by promoting innovation-based companies and entrepreneurial projects in the field of education and ICTs with potential for growth and significant social impact, linked to the UOC's fields of knowledge from all over the University's innovation ecosystem. Since then, we have invested in a total of eight projects: seven start-ups and one spin-off, with a total aggregate investment of €470,000," explained Riera.
"Seven of these projects are still ongoing and, thanks to Hubbik's support, some of them have received public and private co-investment", added the director of the UOC's Research and Innovation department, who also pointed out that, thanks to these investments and to the expert services and advice provided by Hubbik, the University is helping "boost an entrepreneurial culture within its community and promote the generation and transfer of knowledge to society."
Juancho Casañas confirms this: "Hubbik's support has been key to Chordata Motion's development and consolidation, as the UOC's team has supported the project at each stage of growth with a custom-made plan tailored to its needs, which has reduced the uncertainty inherent in entrepreneurship."
Chordata Motion supports the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century, by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health. Over 500 researchers and 51 research groups work among the University's seven faculties and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).
The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information: research.uoc.edu. #UOC25years
Chordata Motion CEO
Director of the UOC's R&I department