How we came to be
The Story of the Company
The Capra Robot is based on a unique patented wheel frame invented by Mads Bendt. The inspiration of the wheel frame is based on Mads own experience as a user of powered wheelchairs since 1986, where he had a hang glider accident and broke his neck, paralyzing him from shoulders and down. As such Mads has more than 160.000 hours of experience in driving and using electric mobile vehicles. He has used this experience, his education, and his skills to invent and develop three powered wheelchairs and latest the wheel frame used by Capra Robotics.
Electric powered wheelchairs are normally either with differential steering or Ackermann steering, both are limited in their ability but in opposite ways. The differential steering is good for maneuvering in narrow spaces but lacks precision in steering and traction. The Ackermann steering is good for precision but has a large turning radius.
This lead Mads to the idea of inventing and patenting a new kind of wheel frame that could be used for a new kind of mobile vehicle – it should be very agile and maneuverable, precise in steering, and compact. The idea is superior and consists of a wheel frame with a front and a back wheel in combination with two side wheels – where front and back wheels synchronously turn in the opposite direction, allowing for 360°-turning on the spot and high precision in direction. Furthermore, a new kind of suspension system has been developed and integrated with the wheel frame, giving variable flexibility allowing for climbing larger curbs, and being very terrain adaptable.
The first application to utilize the patented wheel frame was as a mobility device for people that were physically challenged when walking, like Mads, and this was done in the company Agile 360, from September 2015 to September 2017, supported by Else & Erik Jørgensens Familiefond. Unfortunately, it was not possible, in an acceptable way, to have a footrest due to the location of the front wheel. As such the solution was only attractive for persons without the lower part of the legs. As this target group is rather small, the project was terminated.
After this Mads investigated the possibility to pivot the utilization of the patent, which covers all kinds of vehicles and found it would be very suitable for mobile robotic platforms, especially for outdoor usage. A contact to Niels Jul Jacobsen, founder of MiR, was made in September 2017. Mads entered the world of robotics and began the early work on a mobile robot wheel frame in the company Bendt Inventors. In late 2018 Niels entered the company as an investor and the name was changed to Capra Robotics. Staff was hired in January 2019 and the construction of the present company began. We moved to larger premises and Niels entered the company as CEO in August 2020. During the first part of 2021, the focus has been placed on finalizing the design and construction of the most innovative Outdoor and Urban Mobile Robot Platform on the market today and Capra Robotics will be ready to start serial production and sales operations in the 2nd half of 2021.
Inspired by Nature
Our name and logo is inspired by the Latin word Capra, which refers to the goat genus. Goats are a big inspiration for our robots, especially in terms of agility, endurance, robustness and their wide field of vision. Furthermore, a goat is a fantastics climber, it is agile, friendly and you might feel like patting it, but not like kicking it. All these qualities are highly relevant for robots that are intended for our target application areas.