- IP Group, the developer of intellectual property based businesses, has completed its first spin-out from the University of Pennsylvania.

IP Group has agreed to provide initial capital of up to $1,000,000 for a significant minority stake in Exyn Technologies Inc, which has developed software to control multi-sensory rotorcraft micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) as well as communication between flying vehicles. The initial capital will be provided in tranches subject to the successful attainment of commercial and technical milestones. Exyn has been founded by the University of Pennsylvania and Dr Vijay Kumar, a leading figure in the world of robotics known for his research in the control and coordination of aerial, multi-robot formations: small, agile robots that can swarm, sense each other and form ad hoc teams for construction, surveying disasters and many other potential applications.

Dr Kumar is the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania and has been on the Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987. He was the assistant director for robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2012-2014. Dr Kumar is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2003), a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (2005) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2013). His research interests are in robotics, specifically multi-robot systems, and micro aerial vehicles.

Nader Elm will join Exyn as its chief executive. Prior to joining Exyn Technologies, Elm was senior vice-president of strategy & corporate development at IMAX Corporation where he was responsible for strategic planning as well as leading various new business initiatives.

IP Group chief executive Alan Aubrey said: "It is exciting to have completed our first spin-out from a US university with the University of Pennsylvania. Exyn Technologies is a great example of the kind of innovative technology, founded on ground-breaking science, that we look for and we're delighted to have backed such a well-known team and look forward to supporting them and furthering our partnership with Penn."

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