TuLiMark aims to keep tourists safe on marked, hiking trails. The project is based on a technical solution that uses the latest knowledge in passive navigation to develop a light travel brand equipped with its own electronics. In case of reduced visibility or poor weather conditions, this technology illuminates the path to follow for the time required to reach the target, while not causing interference to the surrounding nature. The length and the intensity of the light will be programmed separately for each hiking trail. The energy for the lights will be delivered thanks to an integrated, rechargeable battery pack that comes from renewable sources.
The company is engaged in the development, production, and sale of LED lights and the implementation of lighting systems in the transportation sector and various industrial fields. Within the production program, they are developing electrical and electronic components of luminaires, regulation and control elements to optimise the use of electric energy of luminosity source, application research, and development of optical parts of luminaires to guide and optimise the luminous flux of luminaires. Their portfolio also includes the design and development of luminaire designs to be used in operationally challenging environments.
Maker: Peter Tauš
Doc. Ing. Peter Tauš, Ph.D. works at TU in Košice, the BERG faculty, the UZZ as a researcher and educator in the field of renewable energy sources and energetics at the Department of Renewable Energy Sources. Within the framework of the submitted project, he is a co-author of the idea of using tourist light marks to enhance safety in tourism. He supervises many bachelor, master and PhD theses, mostly related to proposals for energy efficiency and non-traditional use of RES in practice. He was responsible for the establishment of the RES Centre, a workplace designed to promote research and development of technologies using RES.
How did the project even start?
The Light in the Dark team began to form during a research project exploring how to illuminate the Slavošovský tunnel using RES. In 2015, Peter Tauš from the BERG Faculty (Technical University of Košice) and Jaroslav Jaduš from LED-SOLAR Ltd decided to present the idea of TuLiMark in the competition "Do you have an idea? Present your startup!". Since then, the story of the project has unfolded. Currently, seven people are part of the team, and we believe that this is not the final number. Up to now, all the activities have been funded with our own resources. We believe that, thanks to the OpenMaker project, we will be able to present a real product.
How did you come to join the OpenMaker community?
We learned about the OpenMaker project from the Promoted Workshop B2B Innovative Matchmaking Prešov. Luckily, a member of our team - Marcela Taušová - participated in the workshop, so she immediately got the entire team at work.
Dream big! What would be the greatest achievement for your project?
The greatest success of our project would be to save at least one human life. If, thanks to our idea and the OpenMaker project, we will succeed in doing that, this is all worth it! When it suddenly gets dark and lost tourists will see a light that brings them home safely, that will be our reward.
Currently, the Mountain Rescue Service in Slovakia registers about 2,000 emergencies a year and the total cost to insurance companies for these emergencies is estimated at more than 3 million euros. We expect to decrease the number of emergency situations by 20%, which, in addition to reducing life and health hazards, also provides economic benefits of about € 300K per year.
In your experience, what are the main strengths of a maker/manufacturer partnership?
As an innovator, I understand the frustration of many inventors that are not able to put their ideas into practice. Especially, if the lack of funding is the only thing standing on their way.
When launching a new project, the most important stage of the research process, namely the development of prototypes, is currently neglected. Schools, universities, and innovators themselves do not have the means for prototype development. On the other hand, companies are often looking for new ideas. Building partnerships between producers and creators, and promoting their successful cooperation, are the basis for the rapid development and implementation of innovations.
What do you hope to get out of the OpenMaker experience?
We believe that with the OpenMaker project, we can gain experience in building partnerships between manufacturing companies and innovators. We believe that we can prove that even from a simple idea it is possible to define a serious aim and create a real product. As innovators, we believe we will learn to think as entrepreneurs, and as entrepreneurs, we believe we will understand the problems of innovators.
Finally, as part of the maker movement, do you have any funny anecdote you would like to share?
When presenting our idea, we use a poster which is based on darkness. Whenever someone asks: “What is that? I can't see anything!” we respond: “That is the reason why we have invented TuLiMark!" Now, thanks to the OpenMaker project, we will also be able to respond that TuLiMark is being developed.