Providing Lifesaving, Cost-Saving Information 
in Real Time through Rapidly Deployable Mobile Sensor Robots
for Disaster and Emergency Response. 

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   Share the news in our June 2022 newsletter. 
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Contributing Partner in First Responder Safety Challenge

The First Responder Smart Tracking (FRST) Challenge seeks a technology solution that can track first responders—within a meter or less of accuracy—in a variety of non-ideal environments while using no pre-deployed infrastructure.
Squishy Robotics, as part of the Smart Firefighting Team, recently learned that our proposed solution has been favorably reviewed and has advanced to Phase Three of the five-phase competition. 
“The FRST Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to work with our Smart Firefighting Team partners,” said Squishy Robotics COO Deniz Dogruer. “Each partner brings unique capabilities and technologies that can assist first responders in life-and-death situations. We are working together to deliver situational awareness, health monitoring, 3D positioning, indoor location tracking, and more, all with the goal of ensuring first responder safety during structural emergency response scenarios.”  

The Challenge is funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division; a total of $5.6 million in prizes and support funding will be distributed across the five phases of the Challenge.

Ascent Integrated Tech of Champaign, IL is the lead company for the Smart Firefighting Team. Ascent co-founder and CEO Paul Couston and Dogruer represented the Smart Firefighting Team at the PSCR Division Annual Public Safety Broadband Stakeholders Conference in San Diego last week.

Smart Firefighting team is composed of innovative startups (Ascent Integrated Tech, SlateSafety, Longan Vision, Squishy Robotics, EaseAlert, FlowMSP, Mappedin), established industry players (3M Scott, Motorola, W. S. Darley & Co.), community builders (Make Safe Tech, Smart Firefighting), and a research institution (Illinois Fire Service Institute).
Squishy Robotics COO Deniz Dogruer and Ascent Integrated Tech co-founder and CEO Paul Couston attended the recent conference for PSCR Annual Public Safety Broadband Stakeholders. 

Presentation Highlights  Company's Tech Advancements

Squishy Robotics CEO Alice Agogino was an invited speaker at the 2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).
ICRA is an annual flagship conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that brings together the world's top researchers and most important companies working in robotics and automation. Philadelphia was the site of this year's conference.

“It was an honor to share with the robotics community how our technology and our robots have transitioned from R&D work in university labs to become the life-saving application that Squishy Robotics now sells and supports,” said Agogino. 

Agogino’s presentation, Multi-Cable Rolling Locomotion with Compliant Parallel Tensegrity Robots, was part of an ICRA workshop focusing on “Parallel Robotics.” Soft robots, aerial robots, and tensegrity robots are among the automated machines that fall under this classification of closed-chain mechanisms with no rigid links, fixed base, or traditional end-effector. The presentation showcased the improvements in velocity and robustness of paired cable actuated tensegrities over their single cable actuated counterparts—advancements accomplished by Squishy Robotics team members.

Lead Mechatronics Engineer Douglas Hutchings, Master of Engineering (MEng) interns Nomena Randriama and Oliver Parkin, and UC Berkeley undergraduate Blake Werner were co-presenters.

Army Issues Two-Year CRADA

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC) has issued a two-year extension to its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Squishy Robotics. The renewed agreement will continue through July 2024 and will maintain its focus of testing high-altitude airdrops of our tensegrity robots.

Squishy Robotics and CCDC began working under a CRADA in Summer 2019. Since then, Squishy Robotics has worked with the CCDC SC team out of Natick, Massachusetts to complete multiple
drop tests from airplanes over the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

“Our team has worked closely with Army civilian engineers during these tests, which usually occur over multiple days, two to three times a year,” explained Lead Mechatronics Engineer Douglas Hutchings. “After three years of this testing activity, I think that this contract extension indicates that the Army has confidence in Squishy Robotics’ technology and wants to make sure that this relationship continues so that further collaboration is readily achievable.”

These CRADA-run test flights, which commonly reach altitudes of at least 1,000 feet, have repeatedly shown that our robots can withstand the impact of the high-altitude airdrops and satisfactorily protect their sensitive sensor-and-camera payloads.

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