GrayMatter Robotics, a Los Angeles-based AI-Robotics startup, has been awardeda National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)grantfor$1Mto conduct research and development (R&D) work onSmart Robotic Cells for Surface Finishing & Treatment Applications on manufacturing lines. Last week GrayMatter announced their $4.1M seed funding round. The additional $1M award from NSF will enable GrayMatter to accelerate their technology development.
The broader impacts of GrayMatter’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project seek to improve the quality of life for manufacturing workers, help U.S. manufacturers remain cost-competitive in the global market, and improve the quality of the manufactured parts. The proposed robotic cells will reduce the need for workers to perform ergonomically challenging sanding tasks and reduce the risk of worker injuries on sanding lines. The developed technologies will enable the human operators to focus on high-level decision making and the creative aspects of the manufacturing tasks, while the robotic assistants perform the tedious tasks.
“We want to improve shop workers’ lives, enhance their productivity, and enable them to focus on higher-value tasks. Manufacturing drives our economy, and without automating surface finishing and treatment, there is a significant risk the global economy may suffer due to an increasing labor shortage,” said Ariyan Kabir, co-founder and CEO of GrayMatter Robotics.
“We are excited to support the technology that can help improve the quality of human lives,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mirowski, SBIR/STTR Program Director at NSF. “The technology GrayMatter is developing will enable manufacturers to sustain their business in the U.S., while offering employees better job opportunities not involving tedious and ergonomically challenging tasks.”
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II funding are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.
GrayMatter Robotics was previously awarded a $256,000 NSF SBIR Phase I grant to de-risk translation of the fundamental technologies required to develop smart robotic cells for surface finishing and treatment applications. The SBIR Phase II award will allow the company to expand the capabilities of their robotic cells to meet the requirements of a wider customer base.
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