Meet the Awards Finalists for Innovative Tech of the Year: Robotics

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The MassTLC Leadership Awards recognize and honor “the best and the brightest” of the Massachusetts tech ecosystem each year. On July 18, after months of nominations and judging, the finalists in each of fifteen different categories were announced (learn more about the selection process, here).

Who will be crowned the winners? Find out on October 3, 2018, at the 21st annual Mass Tech Leadership Awards Gala.

In the meantime, let us introduce you to our finalists and the great work that they are doing here in Massachusetts.

In the words of their nominators, meet the 2018 “Innovative Tech of the Year: Robotics” finalists.

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6 River Systems for Chuck

6 River Systems creates a self-driving robotic cart called Chuck that helps warehouse workers more safely and efficiently pick and replenish items. It uses cloud software to determine the best routes to pick orders, eliminating unnecessary walking.

6 River Systems robots lead warehouse order pickers through their work zones, keeping them on task.Chuck is sized to make his way through very narrow aisle, alongside associates, providing a hands-free and helpful picking experience.

Chuck is collaborative, working with associates, not replacing them, to get the job done. In fact, the system opens up warehouse jobs to a candidate pool that would have not been considered qualified in the past, or unable to do the job.

This product has the potential to change retail, logistics and manufacturing as we know it. Smaller companies, who have been underserved for so long will now have access to the technology to compete head-to-head with the monopoly that is Amazon. Just like the emergence of the PC democratized computing power, Chuck will democratizes the supply chain.

 

Ori for Ori

Ori makes dynamic furniture powered by robotics. With the tap of a finger or a smart speaker voice command, Ori-equipped apartments enable people to transform small living into spacious bedrooms, comfortable living rooms, beautiful closets, and so much more.

Ori has created a new product in a new category of flexible spaces — ones that are powered by dynamic furniture powered by robotics. Conceived at MIT’s Media Lab, Ori’s technology integrates intelligence and connectivity in a system engineered to be effortless and scalable. Ori’s system is the first robotic furniture to receive UL certification as a household appliance.

Ori uses robotics to create flexible, dynamic spaces in a way that begins to address the mega-trend of mass urbanization, diminishing land availability, eroding quality of life and sustainability; and can become an integrated element in the movement toward the smart cities of the future.

 

Real Time Robotics for Rapid Plan MPA

Realtime Robotics, has invented a special-purpose motion planning processor, known as the Rapid Plan MPA, along with toolkits that enable robots and vehicles to instantly react to their environments and compute how and where to move to as their situation changes.

This technology, paired with the right vision systems, gives system makers enormous flexibility to adapt to workflow changes to make the adjustments in real-time, all the time. Using this technology, robots can now be deployed to work alongside people independently.

This motion planning solution expands the envelope to encompass the thorniest remaining elements of the robotic stack, successively simplifying implementation. Real Time Robotics’ goal is to enable anyone with solid knowledge of a task they want to perform robotically to describe that task through software tools, which in turn generate design candidates with appropriate configuration files, removing the PhD requirement from the process.

 

Vecna for Tote Retrieval System

Vecna Robotics has reinvented the automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) with its Nextgen Tote Retrieval System (TRS) to meet increased demand for flexible AS/RS platforms capable of supporting the rapid change of pace and growing customer demands of global e-commerce and warehouse operations.

The Tote Retrieval System (TRS) is a highly dynamic, fully autonomous storage and retrieval system providing significant cost savings and substantial benefits over existing AS/RS systems. The TRS can pick from conveyors, standard shelving, carts, and mobile robots while navigating down narrow aisles to offer higher efficiency and improved throughput.

Vecna Robotics TRS provides tremendous value due to its competitive pricing, scalability and cost-effective design. Because the TRS is fully autonomous, it requires no infrastructure changes and can avoid obstacles, giving it the ability to navigate dynamic environments freely. Due to the nature of its intelligent navigation system, the TRS can quickly be reassigned to perform new tasks, or quickly be redeployed to a new facility to optimize usage.

Vecna Robotics allows systems to be deployed in areas where it previously would not be feasible.

Waypoint Robotics for Vector

Vector is an easy to use industrial strength, omni-directional, autonomous mobile robot. In addition to Vector, Waypoint has created an ecosystem of supporting products, each of which is specifically designed, based on customer feedback, to make Vector easier to setup and use. It’s the most accessible robot ever.

Vector is so easy to use that customers can go from crate to autonomous navigation in 15 minutes. This ease of setup and use is unprecedented.

With respect to the robotics market specifically, Waypoint Robotics believes that accessibility will be the principal differentiator as time goes on — the easier a robot is to setup and use, the more likely it is to be adopted.