KITCHENER, Ontario—Khaled Boqaileh doesn't just look to solve problems, he hopes to spark evolutions.
In 2016, when he and his fellow LabsCubed Inc. co-founders Jeffrey Petraca and Ammar Jafar embarked on an entrepreneurial venture they hoped would help the rubber industry's testing capabilities evolve, they did so with big ideas and fresh perspectives. For them, solving some of the rubber industry's biggest scientific challenges meant building solutions the best way they knew how: with more science.
"I see a problem and I want to put robots in front of it," said Boqaileh, who serves as LabsCubed CEO.
But not just any robot. For Boqaileh and his team, it had to be the CubeOne, a tensile- and tear-testing robot that's as attractive as it is functional.
It's designed with a modern look—dark, durable materials and curved edges—and 21st-century technology—touch screens, built-in cameras and cloud-based data storage and analytics. It's intended to look as innovative and forward-thinking as the rubber laboratories that use it.
"Our goal was to produce something that the rubber industry, the laboratories and people sitting in those labs could be really excited about," Boqaileh said. "It means something important to them, and we wanted to make sure the design conveyed that."
Earlier this year, the LabsCubed team received confirmation that CubeOne was sending the right message. The product earned the 2020 European Design Award in the industrial robot category for its ability to combine functionality and aesthetics into a single, sleek package.
For Boqaileh, the award proved the CubeOne not only acts like an essential piece of testing equipment—one that ensures efficient, replicated testing and data analytics—it fully looks the part.
"It's not just design for design's sake," Boqaileh said. "We are about bringing new technology into the industry and making the labs look as amazing as we think they are. They are doing great things—amazing things—but they look kind of old school to some people."