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A New Generation of Actuators for Robotic Systems

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Vecna Technologies Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane Suite 500 Greenbelt, MD -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: A New Generation of Actuators for Robotic Systems
Agency: DOD
Contract: W81XWH-13-C-0124
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Actuators are the primary limiting factor that relegates robots to controlled industrial and military environments and keeps them from becoming the truly useful tools that we hope they will become. Current actuators must be massive in order to provide sufficient strength for real work, requiring that these robots are equally massive, inflexible, and ultimately too dangerous to work alongside humans in industry or manipulate them in clinical/healthcare environments. Vecna Technologies has developed a wholly new and disruptive approach to actuator design that incorporates natural and adaptive compliance, variable force output control, extremely high efficiency, and most of of, highly energy-dense in a simple, low-cost, small, flexible actuator that is simple to manufacture and requires no exotic materials. In this Phase I project, Vecna will develop designs for the control software that will harness the adaptive compliance and variable force output properties of the actuator with human-safe manipulation in mind.

Principal Investigator:

Daniel Theobald
(617) 864-0636

Business Contact:

Michael Bearman
VP, General Counsel
(240) 965-4500
Small Business Information at Submission:

Vecna Technologies Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane Suite 500 Greenbelt, MD -

EIN/Tax ID: 522152399
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No