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.
Pierre Laye, Software Engineer
Background: Pierre is 32. He grew up in France near Lyon. He moved to Switzerland for his PHD at the University of Zurich.
Academic: Pierre studied Biology in Lyon and did a PH.D. at the University of Zurich.
Work: Pierre joined biped after working at MetoSuisse.
Passions: After work hours, you can find Pierre either climbing, woodworking or playing boardgames.
Lena Schmidig, right-hand of the CEO
Background: Lena is 21. She grew up in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Due to her studies, she moved to the French- speaking part of Switzerland. She speaks German, English and French.
Academic: Lena studied Medicine at the University of Fribourg. She joined biped because she wanted to widen her horizon and gain some experience in MedTech, as she has a strong interest and fascination in technology, engineering, and entrepreneurship.
Passions: In her leisure time Lena loves to be outdoors in nature especially running, hiking, and skiing in winter. She likes to travel and discover new cultures and to hike in jungles or on volcanoes. Back home, she enjoys recreating dishes from around the world and reminiscing about her travels.