SRT Selected for CIT CRCF Matching Funds Grant

March 10, 2019


We are excited to announce that SRT has won a $50k grant from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology! The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) sponsors the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), which funds small businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia to develop new and promising technologies in preparation for commercialization.> SRT's project entitled "SRT's Map-Building Robot for Creating Visual Facility Maps" was awarded $50k through the Commercialization Program. This project will transition SRT's map building robot, which is used to build a central facility map for each of SRT's clients where they can monitor robots and connected devices in their building, into a stand-alone product. This new product will not only be used to build physical floorplans for clients, but will also be loaded with sensors to collect data at physical locations across the facility, allowing for sensor-based heatmaps to be overlaid on the physical map of the facility. SRT has found a market for both physical floor maps for clients, as well as the added value of the data collected from onboard sensors during map construction. We can't wait to get started on the project! Check out the CIT official press release HERE.

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT): The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies. Created in 1985, CIT, a non-profit corporation, plugs gaps at the earliest stages of the Innovation Continuum commercialization and seed funding as it helps entrepreneurs launch and grow high-growth technology companies and create high-paying jobs for the future. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. Lastly, CIT builds the infrastructure for new innovation economies with expert broadband strategies.

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF): The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) accelerates innovation and economic growth in Virginia by advancing solutions to important state, national, and international problems through technology research, development, and commercialization. Proposals submitted to CRCF undergo a multi-stage review process. The process includes assessment by subject matter experts (SMEs), followed by evaluation and award recommendations made by the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC) to the CIT Board of Directors. The review process culminates with award decisions made by the Board. CRCF awards contribute to the Commonwealth's overall plan to enhance economic development through technology research and commercialization and, as such, CRCF awards must further the goals set forth in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap. In addition to identifying research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus, the Roadmap provides a framework for aligning key industry sectors within the state. Since its inception in FY2012, CRCF has announced more than 300 awards totaling more than $25 million. View the growing list of recipients, including our FY2018 awardees.







Demonstrating Hardware with CyberClean Systems

March 10, 2019


Buck Ward, an advisor to SRT and founder of CyberClean Systems, invited us to Richmond to discuss his new venture and outline how we will be working together in the future. It was exciting to see CyberClean HQ, a small warehouse space in Richmond, packed full of well over a dozen industrial robotic floor cleaners. His new venture will be providing consulting services to commercial buildings looking to deploy custodial robotics and connected devices.

Additionally, we will be working with CyberClean Systems to setup a demonstration space for custodial robotics and IoT device for the service sector, there in Richmond. This space will be a showcase where prospective clients can visit and see active deployments of a variety of connected devices, allowing them to evaluate how they work in action. Working with SRT existing hardware partnerships, we will help outfit this showcase with connected bathroom dispensers, water flow meters and shutoff valves, air quality monitoring sensors, and much more.

We look forward to this new endeavor with CyberClean Systems!







CIT CRCF Commercialization Program Proposal Submitted

March 10, 2019


Today, SRT submitted a proposal to the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) sponsored by Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). Our proposal, entitled "SRT's Map-Building Robot for Creating Visual Facility Maps", requests funding to enhance SRT's map building robot, which is used to create a map of every facility in which SRT deploys the M1. This base facility map can be used to track the locations of service robots within the facility, static devices, or even tagged assets as they are moved throughout a building.

When working in the facility management market, SRT has learned that there is a specific market not just for using this detailed map within the M1 for device monitoring, but also as a standalone capability. Many facilities do not have accurate floorplans, or change configurations within their buildings at a regular frequency. SRT can build a structural map of a facility in a manner of hours, and display the physical structure of the building that is created. Additionally, SRT's new mapping robot product will use other onboard sensors, such as Wi-Fi monitors, air quality sensors, and more, to extract additional non-physical information from a facility. This will allow SRT to build interactive heatmaps of signals distributed across a physical facility map. The CRCF funding for this project will develop this novel approach to providing modern data to any facility.

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT): The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies. Created in 1985, CIT, a non-profit corporation, plugs gaps at the earliest stages of the Innovation Continuum commercialization and seed funding as it helps entrepreneurs launch and grow high-growth technology companies and create high-paying jobs for the future. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. Lastly, CIT builds the infrastructure for new innovation economies with expert broadband strategies.

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF): The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) accelerates innovation and economic growth in Virginia by advancing solutions to important state, national, and international problems through technology research, development, and commercialization. Proposals submitted to CRCF undergo a multi-stage review process. The process includes assessment by subject matter experts (SMEs), followed by evaluation and award recommendations made by the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC) to the CIT Board of Directors. The review process culminates with award decisions made by the Board. CRCF awards contribute to the Commonwealth's overall plan to enhance economic development through technology research and commercialization and, as such, CRCF awards must further the goals set forth in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap. In addition to identifying research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus, the Roadmap provides a framework for aligning key industry sectors within the state. Since its inception in FY2012, CRCF has announced more than 300 awards totaling more than $25 million. View the growing list of recipients, including our FY2018 awardees.







SRT Successfully Completes NSF Phase I Award

March 10, 2019


This week, SRT has successfully completed our National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I project! SRT CEO and Project PI, Greg Scott, states: "This month, we completed the last of our 6 proposed milestones, which resulted in a successful demonstration of our software product, with several integrated devices, at a demonstration site at Upper Merion Area School District."

This is the culmination of nearly one year of research and development, and SRT is excited to have been able to participate in the NSF SBIR Phase I program.







Provisional Patent Submitted

March 10, 2019


SRT has submitted our first provisional patent this week! Patent number application 62/589,089, entitled "Map based framework for the integration of robots and smart devices" will lay the groundwork for protecting the intellectual property that we have generated during the NSF Phase I program and strengthen our case for building an industry leading facility management software package to monitor and control a variety of connected service robots and IoT devices.

This patent was made possible with the incredible support of Patent Portfolio Builders (PPB) of Fredericksburg, Virginia. SRT won a pitch competition during DC Techweek 2017, and our award was for the full support of PPB to develop our first patent. Although built out as a utility patent, it was initially submitted as a provisional, and we look forward to continuing to work with PPB to expand this provisional patent into a suite of patents to protect the intellectual property that we have developed.







SRT Demo to UMASD Students

March 10, 2019


SRT's partnership with Upper Merion Area School District (UMASD) allows for us to demonstrate the newest technologies to them first so that they can determine which connected devices are best suited for their facilities. In addition, SRT has a strong interest in promoting STEM education. As such, UMASD has invited SRT to be a guest speaker to their engineering and computer science classes, where we demonstrated our software, showed how a robot builds a map of a facility, and even let the students pilot the robot during class. Our goal when speaking to student groups is to not only talk about the big picture benefits of having a STEM education, but also show the fun and exciting STEM-related jobs can be as well. We were excited to speak to a few of their classes this week, and look forward to visiting again in a future school year!







SRT Successfully Completes NSF Phase I Final Demo at UMASD

March 10, 2019


SRT completed our final demo for the National Science Foundation-funded SBIR Phase I program this week. Working with our deployment partner, Upper Merion Area School District, SRT completed the installation and demonstration of their software with a few integrated hardware components. We started by using our map-building robot to construct a physical map of their Administration Building. Once completed, SRT overlaid an engineering floor plan to the robot-built map and set up the dashboard for William Dillon, the Custodial Coordinator for the district. Then, within the software, SRT setup a variety of sensors, including Air Quality Eggs from Wicked Device to monitor indoor environmental conditions, tracking beacons from BeaconGrid to track movement in the building, and a modified Roomba to clean some of the cubicles. Upon completion, William stated: "UMASD is a forward-thinking school district, one that is always looking for new and innovative ways to reduce cost and improve the service we provide. We have been using custodial robotics for several years now and are excited to be working with SRT on the next big technological leap in custodial and building management." Following this successful demonstration of the requirements of the NSF Program, SRT is excited to continue working with UMASD to deploy additional devices into their district to help them provide better quality service and reduce costs.







SRT "Wins" Techweek DC!

March 10, 2019


This week was Techweek DC, a week full of events geared towards start-ups and small businesses in the DC region. One of their primary sponsors, Arlington Economic Development (AED) coordinated several of these events, allowing SRT to gain exposure to a variety of start-ups, investors, and opportunities to work with other companies in the region.

One such opportunity, sponsored by Patent Portfolio Builders (PPB) of Fredericksburg, Virginia, was a pitch competition, where PPB were pitched by the start-ups in attendance. They selected the one who they felt had the greatest promise and need for protecting their intellectual property and awarded them free legal guidance and support to submit the company's first patent. At the Wednesday night panel event, SRT was selected as one of two companies to win the patent support from PPB! In addition, SRT's Karoline Pershell was also the winner of a drawing for a free drone! It was an epic win all around for SRT at DC Tech Week.







SRT's New Mapping Robot Arrives

March 10, 2019


At the core of SRT's M1 is a virtual map of every facility where we have deployed our system. The 2-dimensional base map of each facility is built by a robot, using a lidar to get a highly accurate representation of all walls, furniture, and structures within the facility. SRT's original map building robot worked well as a prototype, but in order to improve the base map, we needed a better robot. This week, SRT received their brand new Clearpath Jackal. Sporting a SICK LMS-111 lidar, onboard accelerometers, GPS, and a magnetometer, SRT can now build even more accurate maps of much larger facilities. We look forward to integrating our mapping algorithms on this robot and taking her out for a spin!







SRT Selected for CIT CRCF Matching Funds Grant

March 10, 2019


We are excited to announce that SRT has won a $50k grant from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology! The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) sponsors the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF), which provides small businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia with grants to develop new and promising technologies in preparation for commercialization.

SRT's proposal entitled "SRT's Map-based Facility Management System for Robots and Smart Devices" was awarded "matching funds" to extend the work that was initially funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a service industry software package that allows building managers to monitor and control the connected devices in their facilities. CIT's funding will specifically go towards the integration of new hardware products into SRT's existing M1 product, expanding the device catalog from 3 devices to add an additional 10 options for clients. These will include devices that monitor air quality, water and power utilization, service robots, and more.

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT): The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies. Created in 1985, CIT, a non-profit corporation, plugs gaps at the earliest stages of the Innovation Continuum commercialization and seed funding as it helps entrepreneurs launch and grow high-growth technology companies and create high-paying jobs for the future. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. Lastly, CIT builds the infrastructure for new innovation economies with expert broadband strategies.

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF): The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) accelerates innovation and economic growth in Virginia by advancing solutions to important state, national, and international problems through technology research, development, and commercialization. Proposals submitted to CRCF undergo a multi-stage review process. The process includes assessment by subject matter experts (SMEs), followed by evaluation and award recommendations made by the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC) to the CIT Board of Directors. The review process culminates with award decisions made by the Board. CRCF awards contribute to the Commonwealth's overall plan to enhance economic development through technology research and commercialization and, as such, CRCF awards must further the goals set forth in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap. In addition to identifying research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus, the Roadmap provides a framework for aligning key industry sectors within the state. Since its inception in FY2012, CRCF has announced more than 300 awards totaling more than $25 million. View the growing list of recipients, including our FY2018 awardees.







Robot Testing in Richmond with Bright Facility Care

March 10, 2019


This week, SRT spent a few days with Bright Facility Care (BFC) in Richmond, Virginia, one of SRT's strategic partners. As a contract custodial service provider bidding on a wide variety of custodial contracts, BFC hopes to utilize new technologies such as custodial robots and connected IoT devices to provide greater service to their target customers: schools, warehouses, and other commercial facilities. SRT and BFC discussed our collaboration, the state of the industry, and focusing on specific hardware companies that we be building relationships with for future opportunities. We also met at one of their test facilities to see some of their fleet of custodial robots in action.







SRT Attends NSF Phase I Beat-The-Odds Boot Camp

March 10, 2019


As part of the NSF Phase I program, SRT participated in a 6-week Beat-The-Odds Boot Camp, where the focus was to complete customer interviews, determine the primary needs of these customers in our field, and validate our value proposition. SRT interviewed over 30 potential clients, from end-users to decision-makers, and learned a few key points that helped influence our primary value proposition. At the conclusion of the Bootcamp, SRT CEO Greg Scott pitched the company's business model canvas, and how it evolved over the course of the bootcamp, focusing on client needs and the overarching value proposition. Representing SRT at this event were SRT CEO Greg Scott, COO Karoline Pershell, and advisors Buck Ward and Jon Hill. Buck, with more than 30 years in the custodial robotics industry, noted: "It has been a long time coming and something I have worked my entire career to help develop, but it seems that the era of integrated custodial robotics and other connected devices is finally upon us."







SRT Hosts Meetings with Advisors Ward, Hill, and Goswami at 1776 Crystal City

March 10, 2019


Our team had a great opportunity this week to meet with a variety of our advisors in the same week. Over two days of technical and programmatic discussions with our extended team (Greg Scott, Karoline Pershell, Dan Hull, Bennett Summers, and intern Alexis Stoven), we got to spend a day with Buck Ward to discuss custodial industry applications of our product and specific targets of opportunity. Then, the next day, we met with Jon Hill and Dr. Bud Goswami to have a deep dive discussion into big data cloud storage capabilities that we are implementing into our framework. We're so appreciative and lucky to have such a great group of advisors who are as excited about our development as we are!







CIT CRCF Matching Funds Proposal Submitted

March 10, 2019


Today, SRT submitted a proposal to the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) sponsored by Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). Our proposal, entitled "SRT's Map-based Facility Management System for Robots and Smart Devices" requests matching funds to extend the development work supported by SRT's existing National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I grant. This CRCF funding would allow SRT to expand the number of hardware devices that can be integrated into our M1 software, through building new hardware partnerships and funding developer time to complete the software integration.

Center for Innovative Technology (CIT): The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) creates technology-based economic development strategies to accelerate innovation, imagination and the next generation of technology and technology companies. Created in 1985, CIT, a non-profit corporation, plugs gaps at the earliest stages of the Innovation Continuum commercialization and seed funding as it helps entrepreneurs launch and grow high-growth technology companies and create high-paying jobs for the future. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. Lastly, CIT builds the infrastructure for new innovation economies with expert broadband strategies.

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF): The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) accelerates innovation and economic growth in Virginia by advancing solutions to important state, national, and international problems through technology research, development, and commercialization. Proposals submitted to CRCF undergo a multi-stage review process. The process includes assessment by subject matter experts (SMEs), followed by evaluation and award recommendations made by the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC) to the CIT Board of Directors. The review process culminates with award decisions made by the Board. CRCF awards contribute to the Commonwealth's overall plan to enhance economic development through technology research and commercialization and, as such, CRCF awards must further the goals set forth in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap. In addition to identifying research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus, the Roadmap provides a framework for aligning key industry sectors within the state. Since its inception in FY2012, CRCF has announced more than 300 awards totaling more than $25 million. View the growing list of recipients, including our FY2018 awardees.







SRT Selected as NSF SBIR Phase I Awardee

March 10, 2019


SRT is excited to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program has selected SRT as a Phase I awardee! Recently, SRT proposed "Development of an innovative software architecture for co-robots and smart devices to augment human capacity with regard to mundane tasking in the service sector." to the SBIR June 2016 Submission (NSF 16-554). This project will allow SRT to develop a proof of concept software package that would demonstrate the integration of the data streams between mobile robotic platforms and static commercial Internet of Things (IoT) devices, into a single framework and dashboard display.

CEO and Project PI, Greg Scott, states: "We are thrilled that the NSF has found our proposal both novel and commercially viable, and that they have provided us the seed funds to help kickstart this potentially game-changing software product for the service industry. We look forward to working with the NSF and our expanded development team to demonstrate this novel concept!"

SRT will be developing the robotics and IoT device integration, as well as demonstrating that data from these disparate devices can be integrated into a single manageable framework. Also on the team is Mindbox Studios of Eugene, Oregon, who will be developing an initial dashboard to display the collected device data and the locations of all devices on a facility map. Additionally, SRT is working with Upper Merion Area School District (UMASD) , a forward-thinking school district with a track record of testing new technologies to support their custodial services. UMASD will be a demonstration and test partner where SRT can deploy our software with new hardware integrations and validate our product in the field.

Mindbox Studios: Mindbox Studios is a digital technology company specializing in strategic tech leadership, design and custom web and mobile software development. Our goal is to provide the world with innovative and groundbreaking digital platforms that pushes the limits of the web and solves real problems in our world. Mindbox Studios is a collective of design and technology professionals who are passionate about innovation, design, user experience, and sustainable software development. We began in 2006 with a belief that there was a huge need for a tech innovation studio that can connect real business value with trendsetting technology. Ten years later we have over 18 incredible team members with hubs in Cincinnati, Ohio, Redding, California, and Eugene, Oregon building software that allows the government to work more efficiently, helps educators do their jobs with greater ease, and allowing real estate agents to have more capacity and make more money. The best part is, doing all of this is our dream job.

Upper Merion Area School District: Education has been part of the published history and culture of Upper Merion as far back as 1683 when William Penn persuaded a general assembly in Penn's colony to order all parents, trustees and guardians to "bear responsibility for the education of their children." It was a Swedish missionary who suggested that children in his settlement cease being tutored at home and be taught in a common school for that purpose. Many small schools have thrived to educate the children of the community since that time. By 1836, two years after a common school law was passed, Upper Merion had seven schools. The student population was 868. Today, over 170 years later, the Upper Merion Area School District is home to six schools; four elementary buildings serving grades pre-K to 4, a middle school for students in grades 5-8 and a high school for grades 9-12. The district now includes the boroughs of Bridgeport and West Conshohocken. In the 2014/2015 school year, we welcomed a diverse student population of over 3900.







SRT has Moved into 1776 Crystal City

March 10, 2019


Today, SRT signed on with 1776 Crystal City to relocate our headquarters from Springfield to Arlington, Virginia. SRT is excited to be working out of 1776 Crystal City, particularly being able to capitalize on the start-up community that has been built out of this space. Through the offering of nearly 40 hours of programming every week, from mentorship office hours to online training and even just the casual discussions with other founders during lunch, we're excited to take advantage of all that 1776 has to offer. 1776: At 1776, we know that startups can change the world and we're building the global community to provide the intellectual, social, and financial capital to help them make that a reality. We've purposely chosen challenging, government-dominated markets because our roots in Washington, DC give us proprietary connections, insights, and tools that can be used to drive massive scale revenue growth. The key to it all is connections and learning, which we curate through our global platform Union. We connect our startups to the latest wisdom on how to build highly scalable businesses through our curriculum. To expert mentors who can help startups quickly solve problems. To markets through our institutional and corporate partners. To capital through our investor network and the 1776 Seed Fund. And to talent through our community relationships across the globe.







Innovation Award Final Thoughts

March 10, 2019


SRT would like to thank KUKA Laboratories for selecting us for the KUKA Innovation Award and for the opportunity to work with a youBot for the last 8 months in developing and maturing our Autonomous Custodial Architecture (ACA). The youBot platform provided a strong demonstration capability to allow implementation of our architecture and we hope to continue maturing this work beyond the Innovation Award opportunity. We would like to extend our congratulations to the University of Zurich, Robotics & Perception Group, the winners of the KUKA Innovation Award on their excellent work with their collaborative air-ground robotics demonstration!







Innovation Award Mid-Term Update

March 10, 2019


We have reached the mid-point of the KUKA Innovation Award program, and progress has been pretty strong so far. SRT has been working towards the development of an Autonomous Custodial Architecture (ACA) to control a multi-robot system through the various roles of cleaning an office environment. The KUKA youBot is playing the role of trash can detection and emptying, while a swarm of iRobot Creates are being used to simulate vacuuming. Utilizing shared office space mapping and robot localization, along with task-driven assignments, these systems are successfully navigating their environment and fulfilling their robotic roles. We are looking forward to competing with other great innovative organizations during the Automatica 2014 Conference in Munich.







SRT Selected for Sponsored Track in Kuka YouBot Innovation Award

March 10, 2019


We're proud to announce that Service Robotics & Technologies has been selected as one of the teams in the sponsored track of Kuka's Innovation in Mobile Manipulation Award competition!

The award is intended to accelerate the pace of innovation in the field of mobile manipulation at large and to better prepare technology transfers from academia and research to industry. The selected finalists will present their solutions not only to the jury, but also to KUKA management and to the expert public at the leading international robotics trade show Automatica 2014, where the award ceremony will take place. We can't wait to receive our YouBot and start working with it!