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SBIR Phase I: 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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1648033
Agency Tracking Number: 1648033
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EW
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-12-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-11-30
Small Business Information
6800 Deland Drive
Springfield, VA 22152-3009
United States
DUNS: 079152499
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Scott
 (571) 327-8763
Business Contact
 Gregory Scott
Phone: (571) 327-8763
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to create a user-friendly, universal control system for robots and sensors that for the first time would make it possible for nontechnical service industry professionals to task and control co-robots deployed in their facility. This simplification of software for an end-user will make systems of robots as easy to control as a single robot. Data collected over the lifecycle of the robots and sensors (which is currently not done) may aid in identification of new technologies to revolutionize system capabilities in the field of robotics. Although this concept could be applied to a wide array of service sector industries, SRT proposes to efficiently integrate and cooperatively control a fleet of robots and sensors to support custodial service industry tasks, because? though essential?custodial services add no commercial value to an organization. Thus the sector is clamoring for ways to reduce personnel turnover and other costs. In the U.S., custodial services are a $40 billion industry; a mere 5% increase in efficiency would result in $2 billion in savings annually. This sector is rife with robots from disparate manufacturers, yet facility managers need an easy-to-use method to ?employ? multiple, specialized robots. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a common software architecture that will serve as a universal receptor for service robotics systems. The predominant technical hurdle is effectively combining the software protocols and coordinating control of the robots. There currently is no common standard for robotics software systems. The actual robot (the hardware) is typically the primary focus for product developers, while the software is built from a variety of proprietary, heritage and open sources, and is as unique as the company developing it. Little or no consideration is given to how robots from different manufacturers could interact in the real world. By standardizing the data protocols for robots and smart devices, and making that openly available, SRT intends to drive future open API development for hardware. Standardized APIs will still protect the proprietary components, but will quickly allow for data sharing across multiple devices?facilitating research in robotics, machine learning, and big data?by allowing end-users to quickly integrate multiple components into the same system, and develop their own algorithms to utilize the shared data streams.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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