The Hamburg-based recalm start-up is to receive so-called “InnoRampUp” funds from IFB Hamburg in 2018, the Startup Dock at the Technical University of Hamburg announced (TUHH) in December. The team has secured follow-up financing after the EXIST scholarship for founders by the German Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). InnoRampUp is a funding programme run by the Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB Hamburg) and targets above-average, innovative, young start-ups in Hamburg. It provides grants of up to EUR 150,000. An intelligent acoustic device developed by recalm restores peace and quiet by tackling unwanted noise pollution e.g. on building sites.
Active noise cancellation
The founders of recalm Marc von Elling, Martin Günther and Lukas Henkel have developed a more robust, smart algorithm based on artificial intelligence to cancel noise actively. The process requires two microphones, a loudspeaker and a microprocessor, which are built into e.g. a headrest on a seat in the driving cabin of a digger. Henkel told Hamburg News this summer: “The microphone absorbs the noise and sends an electric signal to the microprocessor. An algorithm generates an anti-noise signal of opposite polarity via the loudspeaker and sends it to the noise source. The noise is eliminated by destructive interference.”
Making noise disappear
Active noise cancellation technology blocks out certain sounds. Noise disappears and acoustic signals indicating e.g. when a digger is reversing or a mobile phone is ringing are still audible. The trio behind recalm ended a stint in the Airbus BizLab Accelerator programme and then moved to the Startup Dock at the University of Technology in Hamburg (TUHH). An EXIST grant allowed recalm to develop prototypes there.
Potential for forestry and agriculture
The trio hope to launch the first tests with pilot customers next spring. Their product can be used in a wide range of applications such as aircraft seats, vacuum cleaners, kitchen hoods or outboard motors. However, the founders are focusing on machines used in forestry and agriculture initially. “We see enormous potential there because of the high noise levels,“ Henkel pointed out.