BluHaptics, a Seattle, WA-based remote deep sea and terrestrial robotics software startup, received funding from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The grant was awarded in the framework of NASA’s 2017 Small Business Innovation Research program. BluHaptics’ Phase I SBIR contract is expected to last for six months with a maximum funding of $125k. Last year, the company received a Phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the company’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) piloting software for subsea operations. The commercial release of this application for underwater manipulator arms is scheduled for summer 2017.
BluHaptics now intends to use the funds to apply its proprietary software to remote robotic operations in space.
Led by CEO Don Pickering, the company combines advanced applications of real-time modeling, force feedback and machine learning into a single solution that anyone can use to effectively monitor robots in real time addressing the challenges of latency, spatial awareness and control that have long limited robots’ effectiveness in subsea, terrestrial and space environments.
Potential space applications of the software include operating robots to repair or perform maintenance on satellites in orbit; servicing the Space Station; or working on the lunar and Mars programs to build habitats or ensure functioning life support systems before astronauts touch down.