Future

Hypercubes: a Brazilian idea that reached space

por: Luís Felipe & Marcelo Carneiro

Some ideas are so big that they end up going further and even reaching space. That's the case of Hypercubes, a startup that proposes revolutionize the way we see agriculture and seeks to bring new perspectives for the future - even to end hunger. This is huge, and that's why we bet on it.


Eradicating hunger is the second goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) included in the agenda established by the United Nations. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization updated report, more than 820 million people don't have enough food nowadays. This longstanding and unresolved issue is the main challenge that Hypercubes faces.


Space: an opportunity to grow


Hypercubes was founded by Brazilian Fabio Teixeira, who considers himself "a highly motivated individual looking for higher motivated people to positively impact the world". The startup was born at Singularity University, located in the Silicon Valley. It's considered the cradle of the most innovative ideas and one of the most inspiring places for people who work with technology.


Fabio got there through a software competition in which he competed with 250 other participants and won a full scholarship for a ten-week studies program at the university in a NASA special program. There, he fell in love with the outer space. "The outer space is a hard place and it offers many challenges, but also many opportunities for doing things that were never done before", he says.


The idea worked so well it caught the attention of some really important people, like the entrepreneur Beto Sicupira, considered the fourth richest man in Brazil. Hypercubes rides in a very appropriate moment in which the same technological trend that makes mobile phones smaller every day, has also reached satellites.


In order to obtain a better picture, a mini-satellite weighs between 100 and 500 kg for example, while nanosatellites reach between 1 and 10 kg. They have the approximate size of a shoe box and cost much less than the standard satellites, which makes the startup sustainable in the market.


"It's a new level of information that we are gathering, that can lead the food production to the state of art", says Fabio. The founder has in mind one of the oldest and most challenging problems in the world: hunger. "This is a problem that we have to face in the next two decades. In 2050 there will be 10 billion people on the planet and we are going to need to produce more food in the next decades than in the last 10 thousand years altogether".


How does data mapping works?


Nowadays, Hypercubes has its own laboratory in San Francisco (USA) with a team of engineers working in the development of the first satellite, which will be launched in the next few months.


It is through hyperspectral imaging that the nanosatellites capture vital information for analysis. This technology allows them to process information all over the electromagnetic field, in each pixel, identifying materials and soil composition. For those who produce food for example, the data mapped by the nanosatellites is going to be extremely useful.


The information is processed through machine learning and is going to help farmers identify if the soil lacks in nutrients or even detect invader species and plagues, for example. "With this we will be able to identify phenomenon in the day they happen; not one or two months afterwards, when we can already see with the naked eye and the damage is too big and risking losing great deals of cultivation", says Hypercubes founder.


Hypercubes outcomes in Brazil and in the world


In December this year, around 4,600 crops in Parana, a state in the south of Brazil, are going to be the first to receive the satellite tests. "The idea is to produce a case on how to produce more food with fewer resources and less environmental damage", explains Fabio. This phase is fundamental to have assertive success in the future implementation of the project in other countries around the world.


Hypercubes is a great example that companies can be agents of change for current society issues. When developed with the right purpose, they no longer are only profit generators and now assume social responsibilities. "We need to think of the near future, we are going to be 10 billion people on the planet, so we need to quantify resources like food, energy and the impact of the human being on the environment", says the founder.


The technology developed by Hypercubes is an investment aimed for society. It is already possible to foresee partnerships with the government and public institutions from different places in Brazil and all around the world. Hypercubes's work can also help in the monitoring and prevention of great environmental catastrophes. It is the perfect definition of technology benefiting the human being.

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Luís Felipe & Marcelo Carneiro

2Future Holding