What is LIGHTYX and how did it all start? Guy Benromano, Co-founder & CEO shares with us his story.
1. How did you come up with the idea for this startup?
I was sitting with my friends, who later on became my partners, in a coffee shop discussing a few ideas for a startup. We were looking to bring innovation, based on deep technologies, to a traditional industrial market. We thought about construction as a potential market. We started meeting with a lot of construction engineers and workers and asked them what they think should be significantly improved in their work.
Everyone talked about the overall inefficiency in the field of construction and especially about the mistakes that cost them a lot of money. When we asked them about the source of the mistakes, they all repeated the issue of workers' mistakes in placing elements, such as walls or mechanical systems, electricity and plumbing, in their correct and accurate location. So, we decided to develop technology that would direct employees in the execution of the work and prevent them from placing elements in the wrong places.
2. Tell us about your venture - what problem are you solving?
The problem we are solving is the gap between the office, where the architects are designing the building using digital CAD software, and the field where workers still use paper plans and do the work using meter tapes, chalk lines, and pencils like they used to do hundreds of years ago. This gap causes many mistakes that cost $500B to fix, every year.
LightYX developed a unique robotic system, called the LightYX BeamerOne™, that projects any 2 or 3D blueprints onto the construction surface itself with an accurate laser down to the millimeters. This way, construction workers can easily see the blueprints to scale without having to mark the work surface themselves. This means many day-to-day mistakes can be avoided. But there’s more! LightYX’s BeamerOne can also detect mismatches between the BIM model (digital plan) and the “as built”. The operator can then modify the projection on site, and adjust it to the "As Built" by moving elements around on LightYX's proprietary mobile app. All they need to do now is save the updated version and send it back to the architect for approval and then share it with other project stakeholders.
3. What makes your solution better than others?
LightYX is the only company in the world that has proven that it can project any layout onto any kind of surface (whether flat or curved) and still keep accuracy of 2mm up to a range of 10 m. Also, LightYX is the only company that can project layout onto walls and ceilings, unlike its direct competitors that can only project or print layout only onto the floor.
Other technologies as mixed reality goggles or Augmented Reality using tablets cant display the digital plan in the required accuracy and will not be able to display accurate plans in the foreseen years, moreover, each crew member will have to wear the goggle in order to be able to communicate with another crew member that works on the same element. This makes this solution very expensive, and not only that, but since each goggle has its own inaccuracy, then the accumulated inaccuracy of all the crew members’ goggles becomes very high which makes it almost impossible to be used.
4. What was your biggest stroke of luck since the launch of your startup?
Fortunately, we had a few: First, we got the most beautiful offices in Israel free of charge thanks to our partners at Autodesk, the makers of Autocad, Revit, and many more, that decided to include us in their strategic partnership program and gave us free access to their facilities, programmers and product managers. Secondly, we were very fortunate to have brilliant engineers who chose to join our journey, and last, we have a very smart and supportive group of investors which I really like on a personal level, some of them even became good friends.
5. Describe the main challenge you are facing today.
We have a demand from dozens of companies that would like to evaluate our solution, and unfortunately, we can only support a few because we have only a few beta products that are ready for field operation and a limited number of engineers that can support it on site. We believe that we will overcome these challenges once we raise our next funding round.
6. What can we wish you for 2021?
I hope that the covid restrictions will disappear completely. And a few confidential initiatives that we are working on today will be realized during the next few months.
7. One great tip that you have for other entrepreneurs.
The rollercoaster of leading a startup is enormous make sure you find ways to relax and balance your life. If you are married, hug your wife and say “thank you” every day and every chance you have. She/he is in it almost like you. You probably don’t even realize how much.