Monday, January 30, 2017

Manufacturing Rocket Pitch for Solutions – January 25, 2017

The MassTLC/MassRobotics/MassMEP team under the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Fund Program grant, funded by MassDevelopment, held our second “Manufacturing Rocket Pitch for Solutions” on 25 January 2017 at MassRobotics in Boston.

Our goal:  to help robotics, IoT and hardware start-ups and scale-ups grow and commercialize their products by connecting them with the local manufacturers and supply chain – turning great ideas into great products Made in Massachusetts.

Our A-Team Expert Panel with over 100 years of experience between them was moderated by Peter Russo from MassMEP and included:

·         Eddie Freitas, Algonquin Industries Inc. / Hi-tech Metals Inc.

·         Harald Quintus-Bosz, Cooper Perkins

·         Steve Graham, Toner/S&E/Modern Mold Plastics

·         Rich Breault, Lightspeed Manufacturing
Figure 1 Peter Russo with panelist Eddie Freitas, Harald Quintus-Bosz, Steve Graham and Rich Breault

Peter provided an introduction to the program and each panelist offered tips to startups about what they should know about manufacturing and offered best practices.
Startup presentations by Mary Ellen Sparrow (Next Shift), Jessy Cusack (Magurobotics, Daniel Ozick (Computing Exportations), Bryanne Leeming (Unruly Studios) and Sampriti Bhattacharyya and Ryan Lacy (Hydroswarm) included discussion on manufacturing challenges.
NextShift Robotics  is a material handling product that increases the productivity and lowers the cost of e-commerce order fulfillment and manufacturing processes.  The product contains an integrated fulfillment and mobile robot system that uses proprietary and intelligent software to direct robot traffic management while automatically loading and unloading the totes to the shipping and storage shelving. By sending robots from location to location instead of people, efficiency is increased and labor is reduced. Plus, NextShift uses your existing facility and infrastructure, adapting to your changing workflows.
Figure 2 Mary Ellen points to the roller that has caused some challenges
Magurobotics has designed and developed a first-of-its-kind robotic fishing lure designed to bring realistic and dependable swimming motion to your dead bait fish.  They are introducing the product Zombait, which is intended for salt water anglers.  Their patent-pending device has been engineered to fit easily inside the bait of your choice and activate when submerged in water.
Figure 3 Jessy Cusack discusses his challenge of needing a water tight product
Computing Explorations, LLC began as the collaboration of a small group of engineers, educators, and artists who believe that learning is fundamentally a creative process.  While the organization has evolved, Computing Explorations continues to represent Daniel Ozick’s expertise in software, embedded systems, robotics, and educational technology, as well as his development of new products.
Zoot™ is a low-cost, wireless, electronic wind instrument that allows anyone to play high-quality synthetic sounds, such as clarinet, saxophone, or trumpet, with full musical expression.  Like a real wind instrument, Zoot responds to the subtleties of breath, while adding the option of motion gestures and other controls. 
To minimize costs and maximize flexibility, Zoot uses a smartphone or laptop for sound production and instrument setup and customization.  With standard recorder fingering by default, Zoot provides an ideal next step for those who play recorder, both children and adults.
Figure 4 Daniel Ozick shows his prototype to the panel
Figure 5  Rich Breault inspects the prototype
Unruly Studios (formerly JumpSmartInc.builds products that combine physical activity with STEM education to exposechildren ages 6-12 to coding in a funengaging, and memorable way.
Unruly Tiles (patent pending), is a gaming system comprised of four interactive floor tiles that light up, make sound, and sense when they are stepped on. Children ages 6-12 can play active games, music, light shows, and dance games on their feet by running to and jumping on the tiles spread across a room. They can also create their own programs for the tiles using a kid-friendly programming language (Scratch) from a wireless device.
Figure 6  Bryanne Leeming and Daniel Ozick show off their tile prototype to the panel
Hydroswarm is the first underwater intelligent micro- drone platform. They use small patented drones to make subsea data collection faster, cheaper, safer, and easier. These swarms of small autonomous drones replace expensive processes that are currently done with large ships and complex robots. They use an integrated platform of patented scalable hardware, software, and data to save our customers money and explore the ocean.
Figure 7  Sampriti explains the challenges of submerging to 250 meters

There was informative and productive discussion between all startups and manufacturers.  A special thanks to Peter Russo from MassMEP and our expert panel for their donated time and expertise!

And to our host:

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