March 9, 2017

A3 picks eight finalists for robotics competition

Winner to be chosen April 5 during Automate/ProMat trade show.

By DC Velocity Staff

The finalists in an upcoming automation and robotics competition will include emerging companies with technologies ranging from platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to actuators to 3-D vision, contest organizers said Wednesday.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Association for Advancing Automation (A3) announced the eight finalists for its Automate Launch Pad Startup Competition, an event which will crown a winner on April 5 at Chicago's McCormick Place during the Automate 2017 Exhibition and Conference. Scheduled for April 3-6, that show is co-located with the 2017 ProMat conference and trade show.

Created to provide startup firms with an opportunity to generate awareness of their technology and find new sources of funding, the contest will highlight the industry's most innovative young companies in robotics, machine vision, and motion control, according to A3. Chosen from a field of over 30 contestants, the eight finalists will compete for the spotlight—and a $10,000 cash award—by pitching their technology solutions to a panel of judges in a theatre on the exhibition floor of the convention center.

The finalists include:

  • Andros Robotics—Low cost collaborative robots and commoditizing force control expertise in custom motion system development market.
  • Apellix—Platform-as-a-service "Worker Bee" robotics system for industrial workers performing critical but dangerous tasks.
  • Augmented Pixels—Localization and mapping technology (SLAM SDK) optimized for low CPU usage, used for development of autonomous navigation for drones and robots in GPS-denied environments.
  • HEBI Robotics—Modular series elastic actuators designed to function as full-featured robotic components, used to create custom robots of virtually any configuration. (See video.)
  • Kinema Systems—Addresses the depalletizing problem where boxes are picked off a pallet and placed onto a conveyor. The Kinema Pick product combines a custom 3-D/2-D sensor with 3-D vision, deep learning, and motion-planning software to provide a configurable solution. (See video.)
  • Robotic Materials—Integrated tactile sensing and robotic manipulation offering proximity, contact, and force sensing that enables robots to accurately identify, grasp, and manipulate previously unknown parts.
  • SAKE Robotics—Robotic grippers that are inexpensive, durable, lightweight, and capable of use on service robotics. (See video.)
  • Vention—A machine-design platform that enables users to build machines from a web browser in just a few days, using a library of industrial "Lego-style" modules.

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