The founder

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Antoine Rennuit

Antoine is the founder of Les Companions.

Previously he worked in Oxford (UK), Brussels, et Paris for EADS, NaturalMotion (now Zynga), and SoftKinetic (now Sony).

At Softkinetic he helped shaping a new automotive strategic axis and directed its software branch. He led an R&D team specializing in motion capture for the automotive industry. He has experience in driving complexe innovative projects from tender to market, in contracts negotiation, team management, key accounts management, and conflict management.

At NaturalMotion (then a start-up) he specialized in character animation for blockbuster video-games and special FX (surely you have seen movies and played video games he has worked on).

Antoine received his PhD from CEA (Commissariat à L'Energie Atomique) in Saclay and his MSc from Ecole des Mines de Douai.

The mentor

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Thierry Dubus

Thierry is a serial entrepreneur.

He is an expert in strategy, change and information systems. He recently founded Thierry Dubus Conseil Consulting agency. In the last thirty years he founded and led several companies. He is very inspiring and has a very fresh mind on business and strategy which help give structure to the project.

The scientific board

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Laurent Grisoni

Laurent Grisoni is professor of computer science at Lille1 University. He currently heads the MINT research team, jointly supported by University of Lille 1, CNRS and INRIA, and created on January 2009.

MINT research team focuses on perception and gestural interactions for human-computer interaction, developing scientific and technical foundations required to facilitate the design implementation and evaluation of new methods in these fields. This leads the team to explore new computer vision technics for recognition and characterization of environments and gestures, and new data representations so has to enrich the communication between computers and humans...

This sensing and perception expertise in our tech. His know-how is central to the development of natural tools to interact with our Companions.

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Christian Duriez

Christian is one of the founders of InSimo, a start-up company dedicated to simulation for the medical community. He is a research director at INRIA.

He received his MSc from the Institut Catholique d’Arts et Métiers of Lille, France and a PhD degree in robotics from University of Evry (Paris). He achieved his PhD work at CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique) - Robotics and Interactive Systems Technologies followed by a postdoctoral position at the CIMIT SimGroup in Boston. He arrived at INRIA in 2006 in the ALCOVE team to work on interactive simulation of deformable objects and haptic rendering.

In 2009, he was the vice-head of SHACRA team and focused on medical simulation. He is now the head of the DEFROST team, created in January 2015. His research topics are Soft Robot models and control, Fast Finite Element Methods, simulation of contact response and other complex mechanical interactions, new algorithms for haptics...

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Rochdi Merzouki

Rochdi is an expert in mecatronics. He heads the robotics departement at LAGIS in Lille and is a professor at Polytech'Lille. He works on multi-physics system modeling, diagnostics and distant supervision. He coordinated the InTrade project with the ports of Oostende and Dublin to bring intelligent and autonomous vehicles to handle the freight in the ports of North West Europe. He also partnered with Festo-Didactic on the control and supervision of flexible bionic manipulators. Rochdi received his MSc from UMPC Paris 6 and his PhD from Université de Versailles near Paris.

Jacques Boonaert

Jacques is an expert in control and automation. He co-heads the IT & automation research department at Ecole des Mines de Douai. He received his MSc from Ecole des Mines de Douai.

Alain Micaelli

Alain is a research director at CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique) in Saclay (Paris). He is an expert in control and automation.

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