A few lines on a paper suggesting, to be mistaken, that they were written by a person. However, the robots of Manuscry are the authors. The start-up was born in 2021 from the idea of Tristan Farneau. Coming out of his development school in 2017, starting out as a developer in start-ups, he noticed the increase in commercial stimuli sent by email.
“I saw the market trend of increasing sending volumes but that was nonsense to me. So I dug into handwriting, a more authentic and underutilized medium. “ The figures confirm his idea. According to a survey carried out by Manuscry on 2,000 French people, 90% attach more importance to a handwritten card than to an email or a traditional letter and 97% declare to be more attached to a brand after receiving a card. handwritten. The start-up completes by specifying that the handwritten letters are 99% open.
A robotic hand
For more than a year, Tristan Farneau tinkered with a derivative of a robot and 3D printer until he obtained a machine that reproduces human writing by holding a pen. The robot leans on a “algorithm that transforms text typed on a keyboard into text that incorporates an imperfection to resemble human writing.”
Since this first machine, Tristan Farneau has designed others with his own hands to obtain 16 manual machines managed by a single operator and four autonomous machines in consultation with an engineer. “Apart from the robotic arms that we import from UNITED STATES to have the expected 0.1 millimeter precision, we master all the technology and own it. We use Raspberry Pi and Arduino, we 3D print all the parts we need.”
Choosing the Right Writing
Currently, Manuscry offers eight different scripts. “We ask a real person to write a text and then we extract each character variation written with a pen. We create one more variation and we will make a library of characters. The algorithm will take them and make sure that it fits together with coherence.”
In the end, the start-up only keeps 50% of the writings tested, rejecting those that are too linked or whose rendering is not satisfactory. Do not always write straight, deviate lines, create ligatures… These are the rules applied by Manuscry’s robots to reproduce human writing. Among its development projects, the start-up plans to go from eight to twenty different scripts in 2023.
AI to better control the result
Manuscry is also working on integrating bricks to improve writing realism. In 2023, the four autonomous machines will integrate artificial intelligence to perform image recognition. “Currently each card is unit-checked by a human. We would like AI to do the verification. The ultimate goal is for the technology to generate texts by learning scriptures to replace the algorithm.”
The start-up also wants to increase its production capacity to meet growing demand from both scale-ups and large groups and to open up internationally. Manuscry has 200 customers for whom it has already sent more than 100,000 cards.
“We have three types of campaign. First, prospecting in B2B in competitive environments to stand out or to reach more difficult prospects; then, in the context of B2C relations, to retain customers, especially for companies who are committed to providing quality customer service; finally, to invite customers or partners to an event.”
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Manuscry, when robots write like humans
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