I am interested in participating in joint projects (e.g. Horizon 2020, NWO, Eurostars). Among other things, we can offer crowd simulation and motion planning expertise, research and software. If you would like to partner up, please don't hesitate to contact me.
uCrowds: a cloud-based software solution for simulating crowds
Take-off focuses on facilitating and encouraging commercial and entrepreneurial activities initiated at Dutch universities and the research institutes recognised by NWO. It concerns the creation of innovative new commercial activities that emerge from knowledge development and utilisation by academic entrepeneurs. — www.nwo.nl
In August 2018, we have received 250K Euro funding from the Dutch government (with their Take-off 2 initiative) for two years to grow our start-up uCrowds. We offer a software engine for simulating crowds in big infrastructures, events or computer games. With her unique solutions, uCrowds offers a contribution to more safe and livable cities, buildings, efficient transport flows, and better trainings. Its urgency is clear when you consider the big problems and casualties in events such as the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the Love Parade in Germany and the commemoration of the dead in the Netherlands. Measuring and predicting the behaviour of big human crowds is of vital importance.
Current crowd simulation solutions often demand a long project time, may be difficult to integrate in the user's workflow, and support few advanced features having a limited scientific basis. Our software will save significant project time by offering it as a cloud-based software-as-a-service model. The software has a good scientific basis, which is integrated into our advanced simulator with a user-friendly user interface.
We are also working on a live system that learns the operation (e.g. crowd simulation model) in an environment. By adding predictions based on live sensor data, we can improve safety and user experience a lot.
Utrecht University. A crowd simulation with 50K robots, produced with our SaaS-based crowd simulator. July 2018.
Founded start-up uCrowds
After 10 years of fundamental research and applications in projects, Utrecht University computer science researcher Dr. Roland Geraerts and his partner Eric de Wilde are proud to introduce their new start-up uCrowds. With the unique uCrowds software, organisations can simulate the movements of large masses of people under a variety of circumstances. — www.uu.nl
We have set up an academic start-up, uCrowds, which offers a software engine for simulating crowds in big infrastructures, events or computer games. On April 13, 2018, we organised a start-up event, which included the signatures of the collaboration- and licensing agreements between Utrecht University and uCrowds. This company has been founded by Roland Geraerts (CTO) and Eric de Wilde (COO), and is completed by Yiran Zhao (programmer). More information on this event can be found in our press release.
uCrowds: The Crowd simulation engine
NWO, ZonMw and STW are introducing Take-off: a science-wide funding instrument that will encourage commercial activities and entrepreneurship at Dutch knowledge institutions and which academic entrepreneurs can use to bring research results to the market. Take-off is a following step in NWO's instruments for knowledge utilisation. — www.nwo.nl
In September 2017, a one year 40KEuro NWO Take-off (phase 1) project commenced. This project allowed me to make steps towards founding a start-up, uCrowds, which will bring our crowd simulation software to the market. This start-up will offer a software engine for simulating crowds in big infrastructures, events or computer games.
The main steps of the project included expanding the team with an entrepreneur, confirming the value proposition, writing a market plan, attracting customers, and maintaining our software.
The crowd simulation engine
Technology Foundation STW finances excellent technical and scientific research and promotes activities for the application of research results in accordance with its mission. Under the motto: “Technology seeks user”, STW has set up the valorisation instrument Demonstrator. A Demonstrator project facilitates the introduction of a technology to the market. — www.uu.nl/en/news/utrecht-crowd-simulation-software-enters-market
I was project leader of a 150KEuro STW Demonstator project, which ran from 2015 till 2016. Together with our team, consisting of Wouter van Toll, Arne Hillebrand, Angelos Kremyzas, and Mihai Polak, we created a market-ready version of our crowd simulation engine. We removed most bugs from the software, made it run faster, and created a comprehensible API. Please refer to our case studies for some examples.
Wouter G. van Toll. Navigation for Characters and Crowds in Complex Virtual Environments. PhD Thesis. Utrecht University. 30 March 2017.
Technologiestichting STW. Jaarverslag 2015. Demonstrator: Kuddegedrag (p37). April 2016.
Smart city: Augmented-reality crowd simulation demo
Live Crowd Simulation — www.uu.nl
I led a project where we created an interactive demo displaying a part of the city of Utrecht where thousands of pedestrians are walking around. Users can interact with the simulation by inserting or removing illuminated blocks. This allows them to play with different scenario's in an interactive and intuitive way.
This augmented-reality crowd simulation demo was especially created for all EU ambassadors and policy makers who paid a visit to Utrecht on May 20, 2016. The demo was also also shown at the Campus Party (2016), the Annual Congress Technology Foundation (STW) (2016), Weekend van de Wetenschap (2016), Betweterfestival (2016), the 4th National eScience Symposium (2016), and at the Utrecht Science Museum (2017).
The demo has been made possible by Utrecht University (who sponsored 12KEuro), Z25.org, the COMMIT/ project, and STW. Many people helped to realize and demonstrate this project, including my PhD students, Arne Hillebrand and Wouter van Toll, scientific programmers Angelos Kremyzas, Patrick Eijk and Rens de Heer, and Machiel Veltkamp and Wijnand Veneberg from Z25.org. Special thanks goes to MSc students Jordi Vermeulen and Mihai Polak who assisted me regularly.
Wijnand Veneberg. Interactive Crowd Simulation. Demonstration given at the Expertise Center for Creative Technology for EU ambassadors. 20 May 2016.
Crowd prediction software project
Visitors are guinea pigs at interactive Festival De Beschaving. — dub.uu.nl
In this project, we extended our UU crowd simulation software to calibrate a crowd simulation in real-time (using video cameras) while an event is going on. In addition, we programmed a prediction model that can predict what the (near) future state of a crowd will be. The project was showcased during Festival deBeschaving in Utrecht (see below), executed by Arne Hillebrand.
This project is the result of a software project carried out by our bachelor computer science students: Patrick van Eijk, Rens de Heer, Raphael Claasen, Sophie Huiberts, Martin Korevaar, Jurriaan Pijpers, Adolfo Ochahavia, Tim de Bie, Patrick Habekotte and Guido Oskam. Special thanks goes to Atlas Cook (voice), and my PhD students Arne Hillebrand and Wouter van Toll for their endless effort.
RTV Utrecht. Onderzoekers experimenteerden tijdens de Beschaving hoe mensen zich gedragen in een massa. 27 June 2015.
BSc students computer science. Crowd simulation prediction software project: Crowd anticipation program. 7 June 2016.
Graduated at UtrechtInc's Science venture program
After 4 months of support at UtrechtInc on January 19 six startups presented themselves in front of an independent jury and audience. Five startups, mainly from the Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht, now have access to the follow-up programme and the possibility to obtain a starting capital of €18,000. - news.utrechtinc.nl
Together with three colleagues from Universiteit Utrecht, we followed a 4 months program at incubator UtrechtInc to build the blueprint of our academic startup, uCrowds. In this startup, we offer a software engine for simulating crowds in big infrastructures, events or computer games. We presented ourselves in front of an independent jury and audience, and we are very happy that we passed. We have obtained the possibility to get a starting capital of 18K Euro.
Our team members include Wouter van Toll, Arne Hillebrand, Angelos Kremyzas and me.