Intelligent automation

Intelligent automation (IA) refers to the integration of robotics with multiple components from different emerging technologies.

Robotics is transforming the efficiency of every organizational function from finance, tax, HR, and IT to supply chain, regulatory compliance and customer care. We’re not talking industrial or companion robots, of course, but rather software robots that operate as virtual employees, reliably automating manual, repetitive tasks at scale.

When robotic, intelligent and autonomous systems are integrated, the result is intelligent automation, widening the scope of potential tasks and processes that can be automated. This powerful combination brings transformation across the whole spectrum of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things.

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The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

Helping hands to support a virtual reality start-up

Manus VR’s virtual reality data glove is used by NASA astronauts to train after we helped the company’s CEO turn his dream into a reality.

The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

How do you gain the upper hand in virtual reality?

Helping a start-up with big ideas secure funding

Founded in 2014, the Netherlands-based company’s Manus VR Development Kit is a high-end data glove that brings intuitive interaction to virtual reality. Manus is Latin for “hand,” and the company's glove offers full finger tracking, thumb tracking, haptic (touch) feedback, and other features that make the virtual reality experience more immersive.

The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

Getting ready for blast off

Pitching the business plan to potential investors

Stephan van den Brink, a former Tax consultant in our Eindhoven office of EY Netherlands, and his friend and co-founder, Maarten Witteveen, came up with the idea of Manus VR, and when he mentioned it to one of his colleagues, they told him about an EY-backed tech start-up boot camp called HighTechXL.

“The boot camp was fantastic,” says van den Brink, who is now CEO of Manus VR. “It was three months of intensive work, looking at everything in the lifecycle of a start-up, including seeking investment, market entry, product launch and customer research.”

At the end of the boot camp, van den Brink went up against 20 other start-ups to pitch his idea to an audience of over 150 potential investors. He secured immediate funding, which accelerated the build of his business.

“After securing the funding, EY made it easy for me to pursue my dream,” explains Stephen. “I left, so I commit all my time to Manus, but they said I could come back if things didn’t work out.”

Three years on and he is growing his business, having developed a roster of clients who use his VR gloves in the fields of medicine, rehabilitation, gaming, research and robotics. The gloves are even being used in experiments to train NASA astronauts in order to prepare them for the International Space Station.

The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

Sky’s not the limit

Ensuring the business is on the right footing for the future

“To put it simply, I wouldn’t have been able to launch my business without the help of EY,” says van den Brink, who is now a client of ours and is focusing on a couple of simple goals in the coming years.

“The next step for us is to break into the consumer market, but it will take some time,” he says. “For that reason, and with EY’s help, I’m also focusing on making Manus VR a sustainable business that will be around for many years to come.”

Manus virtual reality work room

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