CES 2024: Most-ever inventors from Case Western Reserve to showcase their innovations at Las Vegas exhibition for 11th straight year
For the 11th-straight year, leading innovators, engineers and developers from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will demonstrate their startup companies and other creations Jan. 9-12 at CES, one of the world’s largest technology shows.
Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, CES features every aspect of the tech sector, from startups to global brands. Case Western Reserve has 18 exhibitors this year, including 10 student/alumni ventures, two CWRU startup companies and five faculty innovations—the most ever from the university. (17 are in booth #61633, Eureka Park, Tech West, Venetian Expo Hall G; Afference, a CWRU spin-out, is nearby in booth #60633.)
“We look forward to sharing 18 student, alum and researcher innovations—a selection of AI, music, art, cybersecurity, health tech, robotics and other science-based discoveries in development for years,” said Bob Sopko, director of CWRU LaunchNET, which helps students and alumni start their own businesses.
Sopko has directed and managed Case Western Reserve’s CES presence since the university first exhibited in 2013. The Case Alumni Association, Case School of Engineering, CWRU’s Sears think[box], Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship and LaunchNET, and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation all help support CWRU’s participation.
Below is this year’s lineup by category:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When Joel Douglas founded Menlo Park Patents, he was already a named inventor on 103 patents and had exited seven successful companies. The company solidified when Douglas met electrical engineering alumnus and serial tech entrepreneur Shem Lachhman. They created a cutting-edge process using AI that helps inventors secure patents. Their patent services have been used by inventors in 30 states and four continents.
Notus Labs provides an athlete-safety monitoring solution for teams. The system streams crucial safety and performance information to coaches, trainers and medical staff, allowing them to mitigate risks for their athletes in real time. Notus Labs was founded by Evan Davies, an electrical engineering student at CWRU, and alumnus Tim Walker after working in a biomedical engineering lab and experiencing the deficiencies of current wearable devices firsthand. The team used resources at the CWRU Sears think[box] for prototyping.
A CWRU xLab spin-out was co-founded by Youngin Yoo, the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor in Entrepreneurship at CWRU’s Weatherhead School of Management, and Erman Ayday, an associate professor at Case School of Engineering. Halo Harbour is a new tech company developing a decentralized, privacy-preserving data architecture.
Everykey is a universal security key for businesses that unlocks computers, phones, doors, online accounts and more when you’re nearby, and locks them back down when you’re away. Led by alumni Chris Wentz and McKelvey Packard, Everykey has gained several successful investors, including the first investor in Twitter and Square. The company has more than 3,400 business customers, including LG Electronics and the U.S. Air Force.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and AI
Nearby, in Booth #60633, is Afference. Hand-based interactions will launch the spatial computing age the way touchscreens contributed to the mobile era. Afference, spun out of the Human Fusions Institute, powers the feeling of touch with wearable neural interfaces. This technology was awarded the CES 2024 XR Innovation of the Year.
Carbon Origins, founded by Amogha Srirangarajan while a student at CWRU, and Peter Dixon, NASA Mars Rover engineer, provides on-demand labor for construction, forestry, mining and hazardous jobs such as firefighting and waste management. The company’s technology converts heavy equipment like skid steers, excavators, loaders and dozers into remote operable semi-autonomous robots. Once a machine is connected to its network, skilled heavy equipment operators can teleoperate the machine using their virtual reality headset from anywhere, eliminating the need for operators to be physically on-site and allowing machines to work around the clock.
Digital Health, Fitness and Wellness
XaTek is a CWRU spinout company commercializing the ClotChip technology, with a mission to fulfill the urgent clinical need for a point-of-care global coagulation assay for numerous medical conditions. This platform technology uses the electronic technique of dielectric spectroscopy as a novel approach to rapidly measure blood coagulability anywhere and anytime. ClotChip was invented by Pedram Mohseni, the Goodrich Professor of Engineering Innovation, and Michael Suster, an assistant professor at Case School of Engineering. ClotChip was designated a Breakthrough Device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2020 for its potential as an affordable, accessible solution for predictive, preventative, participatory and personalized healthcare.
Founded by Mahmoud Ghannoum, director of the Center of Medical Mycology at CWRU and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, developed the first probiotic designed to combine good bacteria and good fungi with a powerful enzyme to help break down digestive plaque and support total gut balance.
Robotics, Drones and AI
CrabLine Robotics LLC
CrabLine Robotics is a new Case Western Reserve spinout founded by Kati Daltorio, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Biologically Inspired Robotics lab at Case School of Engineering, Carla Macklin, a serial entrepreneur and Entrepreneur in Residence for the CWRU Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship, and John Grezmak, a PhD candidate and the company’s engineering manager. The company is developing crab-like, dexterous, robotic solutions for aquatic applications.
UAVistas is a woman-founded drone company developed by alumna India Johnson, whose passion for biology, environmental science and computer science led her to combine her interests into a tech-meets-nature business. UAVistas provides drone services, such as photography and mapping (digital elevation mapping, orthophoto generation, point cloud generation and digital measurements), focusing on the environmental sector. The primary goal is to use aerial data and AI to gain insight into what is happening in natural areas and inform decision-making and conservation-planning. The company is also building software to help natural-resource managers and researchers extract valuable insights from visual data.
Entertainment Content and AI
Pro-animation is too expensive, time consuming and technical for the average person. NeverEnding, founded by Case Western Reserve alum and former staff member Jamie Van Doren, has created a web app where anyone can make and monetize animated videos—including feature-length films. The company aims to give everyone equal access to the $400 billion animation market, allowing individuals and small teams to compete head-to-head with major studios. Using a video game engine and custom artificial intelligence (AI) tools, they company estimates the product reduces the time it takes to create professional animation by 10 times and the cost by 1,000 times or more.
The ViviScore Composer is a software program for automatic scoring of film or video, using physics-based algorithms to facilitate the user’s creative vision. The technology allows content creators with any level of musical background to take their videos to the next level. The user can either select a predefined style or create a new one, then generate a unique composition that aligns with selected hit points. The program was created by CWRU physics professor Jesse Berezovsky, who is also a Veale Faculty Fellow and who studies both connections between physics and music, and magnetic materials for new quantum technologies.
Atmata is an AI-based robotics company that specializes in film production. The startup offers innovative robotic platforms that automate various tasks and provide efficient, safe and customizable camera movements for a seamless filming experience. Ammar Naharim, a CWRU double alum, is founder and CEO.
Escargots Kaïy is a sustainable farm that provides high-quality snails to meet the demand for protein-rich food in Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. The company was co-founded by Akissi Ange Dominique Yao, a CWRU student participating in the integrated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Program studying chemical engineering and materials science and engineering. The practices of Escargots Kaïy not only prioritize customer satisfaction but are also rooted in environmental sustainability.
Panaciia Beauty is a developing skincare brand, dedicated to providing skincare solutions that merge culturally underrepresented botanical ingredients from Asia, India, Africa and Hispanic regions with clinically effective ingredients from the west. CWRU alum Ezimma Onwuka founded Panaciia as a student during the pandemic.
Co-founded by Case School of Engineering faculty member Chris Yingchun Yuan, Dory Power is a new technology company that offers battery-powered electric generators and solar generators for portable and uninterrupted power supply. Dory Power has launched its second-generation battery generator, the Dory Sentry, to help households and businesses adapt and respond to increasingly frequent and unpredictable power outages.
Sprinklifier aims to change how lawns, yards and small commercial plots are irrigated. Using a simple yet innovative design, Sprinklifier waters only the areas desired, helping to maintain beautiful landscapes while preserving water. Sprinklifier is a patented innovation designed by Peter Bennett, a professor in the CWRU Department of Music and coordinator of Graduate Studies in Historical Performance Practice.
Leaf has developed AI-powered CAD automation plug-ins that expedite and optimize the design of engineered systems in sectors including electrical, mechanical and structural. The company’s first product, Branch, is a PV solar-focused AutoCAD plug-in that makes designing solar arrays up to 37% faster. Leaf was co-founded by CWRU alum Evan Haug, who launched the startup as an engineering student and ThinkEnergy Fellow. Leaf was a finalist in the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Solar Prize Round 6 and Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Best of Tech Most Promising Startups award.