Seaglider Technology Licensed

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The Seaglider represents a decade of effort in the School of Oceanography and the Applied Physics Laboratory. These low-power autonomous vehicles profile the upper 1000 meters of the water column for extended periods, communicating with shore after each dive.

seaglider_components.jpg

Over the past year the development team, with the help of UW Technology Transfer, has been working toward commercialization of this technology. We are pleased that iRobot has licensed the core technology.

Congratulations to the Oceanography faculty, staff, students and alumni on the developer team: Charlie Eriksen, Jim Osse, Jim Bennett, Neil Bogue, Craig Lee, Geoff Shilling, Fritz Stahr, Troy Swanson, John Ballard, Andy Chiodi, Randy Fabro, Bill Fredericks, Amanda Gray, Mike Johnson, Karl Kunkle, John Kumph, and Kirk O'Donnell.

iRobot Enters Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market

License with UW TechTransfer Secures Sole Rights to the Seaglider™ Vehicle, and Technology

San Diego, Calif., (AUVSI Booth #1121) and Bedford, Mass., June 10, 2008 – iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT) today announced a sole licensing agreement with UW TechTransfer at the University of Washington to commercialize Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Seaglider technology previously supported by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. The agreement with both the Applied Physics Laboratory and School of Oceanography reinforces the company’s strong ties to world class academics.

“We have a strong track record for transferring new technology from research initiatives into products that support military missions,” said Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot. “Ten years ago we transformed the original PackBot into a combat-proven robot used today by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and licensing the Seaglider from the University of Washington will help our robots conquer new underwater frontiers.”

Seagliders help civilian, academic and military personnel make oceanographic measurements at a fraction of the cost of traditional research vessels or moored instruments. These long-range, high-endurance vehicles economize on energy consumption with a buoyancy-based propulsion system to support mission ranges of thousands of kilometers and deployments lasting weeks to several months. Instruments can be attached to the Seaglider to persistently collect oceanic physical properties across a range of depths and areas, providing valuable insights to oceanographers and military planners.

“This is a wonderful example of the University of Washington’s commitment to build partnerships with industry, and to successfully transfer innovative research to the commercial sector. Our federal sponsors expect the University to be able to transition technology from the academic laboratory into the marketplace. We’re delighted to have formed a great relationship with iRobot. We’re convinced that their strength in building autonomous robots is a terrific fit for the Seaglider technology,” explains Russell McDuff, Director of the School of Oceanography.”

The Office of Naval Research funded the original research and development behind Seaglider technology beginning in 1995 and is currently testing this vehicle for additional applications. More than 70 Seagliders have been delivered and are currently in operation all over the world. Recent deployments include waters off Norway, Greenland, Taiwan, the Philippines and Iceland.

About UW TechTransfer

Established in 1982, UW TechTransfer facilitates the commercialization of new innovations arising from UW research through the management and licensing of intellectual property. Since the department’s founding, UW TechTransfer has helped create more than 235 companies in Washington state and abroad. In FY07, UW TechTransfer generated $38 million in total revenue from all sources. Additionally, UW TechTransfer manages a total patent portfolio of over 2000 issued and pending patents filed in the U.S. and around the world. For additional information about UW TechTransfer, visit http://depts.washington.edu/techtran/.

About iRobot Corp.

iRobot is a provider of robots that perform dull, dirty or dangerous missions in a better way. The company's proprietary technology, iRobot AWARE™ Robot Intelligence Systems, incorporates advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. This proprietary system enables iRobot to build behavior-based robots, including its family of consumer and military robots. For additional information about iRobot, visit http://www.irobot.com.

More information on Seagliders can be found on the Seaglider Fabrication Center and APL webs and in the UW press release:

iRobot secures licensing agreement for UW's Seagliders: "University of Washington record-holding, ocean-observing robots that operate at sea for months at a time - traveling thousands of miles at the behest of operators on land directing activities via a satellite phone network - will be commercially produced by iRobot under a licensing agreement announced this week."

(Via uwnews.org | RSS | UW News Releases (all categories) | University of Washington Office of News and Information.)

A creative graphic featuring Slim Pickens/Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong of Dr. Strangelove

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Russ McDuff published on June 9, 2008 2:53 PM.

Graduation 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

Ginger Armbrust Named Lowell and Frankie Wakefield Professor is the next entry in this blog.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Russ McDuff published on June 9, 2008 2:53 PM.

Graduation 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

Ginger Armbrust Named Lowell and Frankie Wakefield Professor is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.