After 10 years of fundamental research and applications in projects, Utrecht University computer science researcher Dr. Roland Geraerts and his partner Eric de Wilde are proud to introduce their new start-up uCrowds. With the unique uCrowds software, organisations can simulate the movements of large masses of people under a variety of circumstances. The software has already been utilised by Schiphol Airport and during the start of the Tour de France in Utrecht. Game developers are also expected to be interested in the software, as it is exceptionally fast and flexible, and can simulate truly ‘lifelike’ crowd movements. Utrecht University and uCrowds will sign the license agreement on 13 April to mark the official start of the company.
“The speed of the simulations, the accuracy, and the possibility of making dynamic adjustments make it unique among this type of software”, Geraerts explains. “But our strong point is, and will always be, the combination with scientific research. The software is not only state-of-the-art today, but it will also continue to develop over time.”
The uCrowds software can simulate the movements of 65,000 pedestrians or game characters on a PC in real time. The characters can also react to changes in the environment, such as a blocked walking route, in real time as well. These fast simulations make it possible to study a large number of different scenarios, such as the effect of installing or moving crowd control barriers, toilets, or grandstands during an event.