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Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for Research in Perceptive Navigation Capabilities of UAS
Syracuse, NY – AutoModality, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development work to advance AutoModality’s Perceptive Navigation capabilities with respect to object detection and sense and avoid. AutoModality will be doing the research in collaboration with Syracuse University.
“We are grateful for the support of the NSF and are excited to partner with Syracuse University to further develop our Perceptive Navigation technology platform,” said Daniel Hennage, CEO of AutoModality. “Through our partnership with Syracuse University we will have access to high-quality research and development tools that will enable us to advance our industry-leading technology.”
AutoModality creates autonomous mobile systems that sense, explore and analyze the world around us. Its industry-leading Perceptive Navigation drone platform enables fully autonomous close-up infrastructure inspection, especially in areas that are difficult to navigate, pose safety risks, and are often GPS-denied, such as under bridges, inside buildings and tunnels, and across challenging terrains. AutoModality’s enterprise solutions consist of an off-the-shelf drone, such as a DJI M200; a powerful mobile computer; a sensor package; and its proprietary Perceptive Navigation software. This creates an unmanned aerial system tool that can be used across multiple platforms and industries that is safer and more efficient than ever before. The grant will enable AutoModality to further develop and create continued enhancements to this advanced technology.
“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”
“This is a great opportunity for faculty researchers to partner with regional business and industry interests to pursue innovations that address real-world needs,” says John Liu, vice president for research at Syracuse University. “The practical implications for this project speak to the value of cross-sector research collaborations to advance the capabilities of cutting-edge technology in ways that also drive economic growth.”
In 2016, AutoModality placed first in the DJI SDK Challenge, a fully autonomous search and rescue challenge sponsored by DJI, Ford and the United Nations, beating 146 other teams. In March 2017, the company, based in Syracuse, New York, won the top $1 million grand prize from GENIUS NY, one of the world’s largest business competitions focused on unmanned systems, cross-connected platforms and other technology sectors. GENIUS NY is supported through CNYRising, the region’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy.
“This grant is further validation of AutoModality’s innovative technology and builds on the significant investment the company received from the GENIUS NY program,” said Rick Clonan, vice president of innovation at CenterState CEO. “The GENIUS NY program, CenterState CEO and the NUAIR Alliance are all committed to supporting AutoModality’s continued growth as it can play a role in advancing an industry in which the region is a global leader.”
“The GENIUS NY business competition is helping Central New York establish itself as a major hub for the UAS industry and a place where companies can grow and innovate,” said Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development. “By attracting and investing in start-ups like Automodality, we are working to solidify the region’s future as a national leader in this burgeoning industry.”