The HLS team at SOSA has been instrumental in Wonder Robotics' rapid growth and success as a startup for autonomy solutions for drones and eVTOL. This case study examines Wonder Robotics' journey as it navigated and prospered through SOSA's Innofense and HTX accelerators. It reveals how Wonder Robotics adeptly tailored its vision-based autonomy technology to cater to drone commercial applications, encompassing delivery, HLS (Homeland Security), and defense operations, and how SOSA helped them secure significant investment, propelling the company from a bootstrap startup to a venture capital-backed success story.
Wonder Robotics: Wonder Robotics, an Israeli start-up founded by a group of International UAS experts, is focused on unlocking the business potential of urban drone services by increasing its safety and Autonomy with a vision to improve the safety and reliability of these services and to decrease dependency on well-trained drone pilots, communication infrastructure, and GPS.
The company's product acts as a critical enabler in the rapidly evolving drone market, allowing for safe and autonomous operations that are a core aspect of emerging drone regulations and strongly advocated by industry leaders.
The same way DJI and Skydio enabled mass consumer-grade drones usage by empowering drones with their vision-based autonomy and safety capabilities, Wonder Robotics Generic Autonomy Suite empowers any commercial or military-grade drone with broad vision-based capabilities that are shaped around their operational and regulation-oriented safety requirements.
SOSA HLS: As a catalyst for open innovation programs, accelerators, and innovation hubs, SOSA HLS brings a cross-vertical, 360° view. Bridging the gap between HLS & Defense organizations and innovative civilian technologies, SOSA HLS is a key player in fostering dual-use technologies.
Wonder Robotics was a bootstrap company with a great idea but limited funds and customer exposure. Through the SOSA initiative, it successfully engaged a key end-user in the IDF and secured funding from Innofense for a Proof of Concept (POC). Furthermore, when the Wonder Team assessed the product's readiness for the Singapore market, a pivotal hub for the APAC region, the HTX-SOSA accelerator emerged as a crucial initial step.
The SOSA-Innofense Accelerator is a unique dual-use tech program designed to bridge the civilian and security world. The program supports the development process for the Israeli Ministry of Defense's unique security needs and challenges.
- Innofense provided Wonder Robotics with a distinctive pathway, an alternative to direct engagement with defense entities like the Israel Ministry of Defense - Directorate of Defense Research & Development (Mafat)
- The program facilitated a $50,000 grant, enabling prototype development with government agencies without compromising intellectual property or committing to binding relationships.
- SOSA provided Wonder Robotics expert mentorship to facilitate their entry into the defense market.
The SOSA-HTX Open Innovation Challenge is a unique dual-use technologies accelerator program designed to identify and nurture early-stage ideas, transforming them into pioneering public safety and security solutions and broader applications. As a statutory board of Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs and integral to the Home Team, HTX works at the forefront of science and technology to empower Singapore’s frontline safety and security.
Building on the success of Innofense, Wonder Robotics continued its transformative journey with SOSA HLS, participating in the HTX accelerator program. Recognizing the need for a strategic shift in early 2023, the company focused on the defense and homeland security markets, expanding to Singapore.
"Our journey with SOSA HLS' accelerator programs, Innofense and SOSA-HTX, has been transformative. The invaluable support, mentorship, and opportunities provided by SOSA have propelled Wonder Robotics from a startup with a vision to a thriving company."
Or Epstein, Co-Founder and CBO at Wonder Robotics
- Innofense enabled Wonder Robotics to conduct their first Proof of Concept (POC), securing funding and partnerships while maintaining independence and intellectual property.
- The completion of the Innofense project marked a transformative milestone. SOSA HLS facilitated collaborations with industry giants like Rafael and Mafat, which resulted in substantial VC backing of over $3 million. This transition propelled Wonder Robotics from a bootstrap startup to a venture capital-backed success story.
- The SOSA-HTX collaboration provided Wonder Robotics with a valuable platform for a proof of concept, showcasing the capabilities of WonderLand in Singapore's highly competitive drone market.
- Beyond financial support, the program facilitated crucial interactions with end-users, offering insights into market requirements, product developments, and roadmap priorities.
This week marked a significant milestone for Wonder Robotics as they actively participated in the inaugural Hatch Demo Day hosted in Singapore. The strategic involvement in SOSA HLS accelerator programs has strategically positioned the company for future growth and success. By leveraging these programs, Wonder Robotics has not only embraced the latest technology trends, gaining a distinct competitive advantage but has also fostered the development of innovative products and services tailored to meet the evolving needs of their valued customers.