Interview with Wesley Lorrez- Head of Product & CEO of EEVE

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives recently had the pleasure of interviewing Wesley Lorrez, the visionary CEO and founder of EEVE, a pioneering robotics company. Delving into the genesis of his entrepreneurial journey, Wesley shared the inspiration behind his venture into the realm of robotics. We explored the profound advantages of seamlessly integrating robotics into our societal framework and unearthed the transformative potential of EEVE’s robotics API in enhancing various practical applications. From innovation to implementation, our discussion with Wesley Lorrez shed light on the boundless horizons of robotics and its profound impact on our evolving world.

Can you tell me about your journey and what inspired you to start EEVE?

As a young guy, at the age of 19, I was fed up with some of the brutalities of humankind, such as corruption, pollution, greedy money-people, and so many more. It was my frustration about litter at that time that made me think about the fact that we will need to make robots to solve it.

From that moment onwards, I created a virtual world in my head where robots are part of our societies, in almost any activity or layer of society. It’s a world where everyone can live in a fair, pleasant, healthy, respectful, and sustainable way. Actually, this has led to a world in my head whereby we can live with 50 billion people on earth, in balance with earth resources. It’s what I call ‘Earth, a city in the universe’.

Since that young age, I have done everything I could to learn how to build an enterprise that can make personal robots. First, I created a company called Visionware. At Visionware, we made a system to record souvenirs on rollercoasters. Basically, a smart camera that is mounted on each seat of the rollercoaster, recording your ride. At the exit of the rollercoaster, we installed booths with a screen and camera in. Via face recognition, which was highly innovative at that time, the system retrieved your ride and showed you a 10-second clip. You could then buy the full video of your ride. Being that young, with a board of 9 shareholders, I was too inexperienced to make the company thrive. We went into bankruptcy and sold the assets to another company.

That experience taught me that there is so much more than the technology to make a tech startup successful. So in my next adventure, I focused even more on the business side. I started a service company, PegusApps, whereby we delivered development services to large multinationals worldwide. We specialized in IoT, Mobile Apps, secure transactions, and blockchain. My largest customer was a Fortune 500 company with headquarters in the US. We had an amazing time and we were highly successful.

After a few years, I started a new company, called EasyOrder, an m-commerce platform for small shop-owners. In 2017, I sold both companies, EasyOrder to Keyware Technologies, and PegusApps to Verhaert Innovations. With the capital gained from the exits, I started EEVE in 2017.

Can you explain the autonomous capabilities of Willow, the robotic lawn mower, and how it navigates without a perimeter wire?

Willow has only one camera, that’s it. Willow uses A.I. and computer vision techniques to safely navigate in any garden. Willow can drive safely from one zone to the other via a path that can be up to 100 meters long or even more. She (we see our robots as female) avoids obstacles while she mows over grass, weeds, and leaves in the grass. She can also mow a border by driving over it; she recognizes water and so much more.

It’s truly amazing what a major difference AI brings compared to the classical lawnmower or the new RTK-based lawnmowers that are now being put into the market. Actually, we don’t call Willow a lawnmower; we call it a personal robot.

Because Willow is designed to do so much more than mowing. Today she also does surveillance during the night, and next month we are releasing a new tool for Willow: a weeder tool. With this new tool, Willow will spray herbicides on the weeds, in your lawn but also on your patio or driveway. And there are many more tools coming for Willow. It’s the first outdoor personal robot in the world.

Can you explain the level of access developers have to the SDK, API, and 3D print files, and how it facilitates innovation within the EEVE community?

We offer an API with documentation that allows developers to access as good as any function of the robot. We also have several 3D files that they can use to print, for example, beacons or replacement parts if needed. Our objective in the long term is to have a full self-repairable robot with parts that you can print yourself, at home.

Today it’s still early on for our EEVE community; nevertheless, we already see innovation flourish. People use the API to connect Willow to their home automation system, like to coördinate with the sprinkler system, or to plugging the robot camera feed into their security system, or to use it with their Homey or Alexa system, just to name a few examples.

We also see that customers use our STL print files to make things themselves, like the StarLight Beacons. Customers that are not into printing can still buy the printed parts via our webshop. It’s a great mix, and our mission is to make sure that everybody can have personal robots at home, even if that means that it would end our company in the long term, we don’t want any customer to be dependant on our company.

As AI and robotics become more prevalent, what potential benefits and challenges do you foresee for society?

The benefits are enormous; it’s a major change in human history. This tool, robots, can truly push the human race forward at a speed we never witnessed before. That being said, there is also a major danger if bad actors misuse robots. Robots are powerful; we will need robot harness ourselves to fight against a robot. Anyway, I don’t like to put energy into the potential bad outcome; that’s not for me.

I’m focused on the potential good outcome. The challenge that we will have is mainly on a political or society level. I see humans with robots evolving to a world where humans are more focused on well-being, body-mind-soul. We will forget what working was like we are used to work today. We will see that impact soon with generative AI, and it will only grow the more AI grows and the more we have robots. Work will change, for the better. No more terrible situations with child labor or low-wage labor. It is possible to create a fair, healthy, sustainable, respectful, and pleasant world for everyone, really, for everyone. And we can even do that for up to 50 billion on earth without exhausting earth resources. We are at a point that we can reach that state, isn’t that amazing?

Now, the challenge that is left is politics, money… We will need to be able to completely switch our capitalistic system as we know it today. Not sure if we can manage to do that, that will be the biggest challenge for me. Do we still need money as we know it today? If so, will everyone have a basic income? Many questions to be answered, soon.

What is EEVE’s vision for the future of AI and robotics, and how does the company aim to contribute to that vision?

EEVE’s vision is to create a world where robotics and AI are accessible to all, empowering individuals and businesses to harness the potential of these technologies. We aim to be at the forefront of the robotics revolution, driving innovation, and democratizing robotics through our open platform.

By providing tools, resources, and a vibrant community, we want to inspire developers and enthusiasts to build their dream robots and contribute to solving real-world challenges.

What are some examples of practical applications for personal robots built on the EEVE platform, and how can they positively impact various industries, such as farming, cleaning, or last-mile delivery?

Personal robots built on the EEVE platform have a wide range of practical applications across industries. In farming, autonomous agricultural robots can optimize crop monitoring, precision spraying, and harvesting, leading to increased efficiency and reduced environmental impact. In cleaning, intelligent robotic vacuum cleaners can autonomously clean homes and offices, saving time and effort for users.

Additionally, last-mile delivery robots can revolutionize logistics, ensuring timely and contactless delivery of packages, enhancing customer experience, and reducing carbon emissions from delivery vehicles. By addressing critical needs in these industries, personal robots can positively impact society by transforming how tasks are performed, making them more efficient, sustainable, and convenient.

Now, our real drive at EEVE is the fact that we will bring the supply chain to the home; learn more about that by following us.

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.