How it all started
biped started as a hackathon project while Mael, now CEO of biped, was doing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, in Switzerland. He met Bruno, now CTO of biped, during the hackathon and they started to work on a common vision: bringing autonomous driving technologies at the pedestrian level, to guide blind and visually impaired people in unknown environments. Since then, Mael and Bruno have been expanding the team and working on some of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century. In this article, Mael and Bruno highlight their backgrounds, as well as the team members who joined them.
Mael Fabien, CEO
Background: Mael is 25. He was born in Strasbourg, France, where he lived until the age of 10. He then moved to Geneva with his family, studied in Lausanne, moved to Paris and came back to Lausanne after a world tour. Mael speaks French and English, and his German is painfully dying since high school.
Academic: Mael graduated from a Masters in Statistics (Actuarial Science) at HEC Lausanne. He then did a second Masters at Telecom Paris, in Data Science. He joined EPFL’s PhD program in speech processing. He dropped out after 2 years after securing fundings for biped.
Work: Mael worked as a data scientist in 2 startups. He was a freelance data scientist for various organizations. He founded his first company at the age of 18.
Passions: Mael has played a lot of volleyball until university (Junior Swiss volleyball champion), along with javelin throw. He then switched to fitness and has been practicing fitness / powerlifting since then.
Bruno Vollmer, CTO
Background: Bruno is 28. He grew up in Cologne, Germany, where he lived until the age of 18. After spending a year in Australia, he started studying in Aachen. During his studies, he did an Erasmus year in Murcia (Spain). Bruno speaks German, English, decent Spanish and is learning French.
Academic: Bruno did a Bachelor's and Master’s in Computer Science at RWTH Aachen. During his Master's, he focused on Computer Vision and Machine Learning applications.
Work: Bruno worked at multiple startups before founding biped, in the area of smart city and bus fleet management.
Passions: Bruno is interested in many things but in the end, his biggest passion remains mountains. You’d find him hiking or climbing most weekend, and running from time to time during the week. Bruno was also a climbing instructor in sports camps.
Arthur Gassner, Machine Learning Engineer
Background: Arthur is 25. He grew up in Lausanne, Switzerland. He speaks French, English, German and some Danish.
Academic: Arthur did his Bachelor's in mechanical engineering at the EPFL in Switzerland, and an exchange year at the RWTH, Germany, Wanting to shake things up for his Master's degree, he switched to robotics at the EPFL, specializing in machine learning in AI.
Work: After successful internships at Intel and Swisscom, as well as a machine learning-based Master Thesis, Arthur joined the biped team.
Passion: When Arthur isn't cycling or hiking through mountains, he's likely tending to his numerous houseplants, or filling a room with his laughter. He loves culture in all its forms: theater, paintings -- and of course -- food.
Paul Prevel, Software Engineer
Background: Paul is 27. He grew up in France, near Geneva, from a Belgian mother and a Spanish father. He moved to Lausanne at the age of 17 for his studies. He speaks French, Spanish and English.
Academic: Paul studied at EPFL with a bachelor's in Micro-Engineering, before switching to Robotics for his Master's, with a focus on bio-inspired learning and locomotion. During his master thesis he implemented a vision based obstacle detection pipeline for a robotic wheelchair, which inspired him to join biped.
Work: Paul joined biped after interning in a motion analysis startup
Passions: After work hours, you can find Paul either track-running, hiking in the mountains or playing the clarinet.
Nikitas Papadopoulos, Software Intern
Background: Nikitas is 25. He grew up in Italy, near Milan, with a French mother and a Greek father. When he was 18, he moved to Lausanne for his studies. He did an Erasmus year in Madrid, Spain, where he ate a lot of tapas. He speaks French, Greek, Italian, English, and Spanish.
Academic: Nikitas did a bachelor’s in Micro-engineering before switching to Robotics for his master's degree at EPFL. Currently, he is completing his Master's Thesis with biped.
Work: Nikitas was an intern for a robotics company for 6 months before joining biped for his Master’s Thesis.
Passions: Nikitas played a lot of basketball in his life. From playing in the highest youth level in Italy all the way up to becoming the champions of the prestigious canton of Vaud, he hasn’t stopped playing this sport. He also enjoys very much cooking, and of course, eating.
Laurynas Lopata, Software Intern
Background: Laurynas is 22, He was living in Kaunas, Lithuania until 19. He moved to Lausanne for his studies at EPFL. He really enjoyed the first 2 years of his studies in Switzerland when he was attending half of his lectures from his room back home in Lithuania. He speaks English, Lithuanian and French and some Russian.
Academic: Laurynas is currently finishing up his bachelor's studies at EPFL.
Work: Laurynas was an intern at BPTI in Vilnius, Lithuania and a teaching assistant at EPFL.
Passions: Following sports and reading are his passions. Discussing books with others is the best part about reading for this he created a small Literature club to have weekly literary discussions after uni lectures