Autonomous Technology

Olis Robotics/University of Washington

Expanding Applications of Telerobotics Technology

Autonomous Technology

Olis Robotics/ University of Washington

Expanding Applications of Telerobotics Technology

318

Patent References to IEEE

39

Average IEEE References Per Patent

318

Patent References to IEEE

39

Average IEEE References per Patent

After originally focusing on subsea operations for the U.S. Navy, Olis Robotics later expanded to working with several commercial offshore energy partners on subsea Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

Olis Robotics was founded by Dr. Fredrik Ryden and a group of research students from the University of Washington. Their objective was to start up a company based on their innovative robot control technology. Formerly known as BluHaptics, the company was rebranded as Olis Robotics in 2018.

In a recent interview with co-founder Dr. Howard Chizeck, he mentions, “We figured that since we were already remotely manipulating a teleoperated robot for surgery, how could that be so different from underwater munitions…In the development of that technology for underwater munitions, it became apparent that there were a lot of other underwater applications that could use telerobotics.”

After spinning out of the University of Washington in 2013, Olis has had a number of accomplishments.

  • In 2014, it won a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Small Business Administration (SBA) totaling $897,000 through 2016.³
  • In 2017, it raised $1.36 million in angel investment.⁴
  • In 2017, it won a grant from NASA and SBA totaling $873,000 through 2018.
  • In 2019, Olis won a $50,000 grant to study options for satellite-servicing robots. This may turn into a $1.5 million grant in the future.⁵
  • In 2019, Olis announced a partnership with Forum Energy Technologies (terms not disclosed) to develop Olis Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) controllers for the offshore energy market.
  • In 2019, Olis entered into an agreement with iCsys, part of the Envirex Group, for sales, distribution and support of Olis Robotics machine-learning ROV controllers (terms not disclosed).
  • In 2019, Olis partnered with one of the biggest names in space, Maxar Technologies, to work on a new robotic mission that is part of NASA’s planned mission back to the moon in 2024.

The firm has eight patents related to haptics and telerobotics. The oldest patent is less than five years old and has 18 citations, which is six times as many as expected for a patent of that age and technology class. Collectively, the eight patents have a total of 318 references to IEEE conference and journal articles (an average of 39 each).

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3 SBIR.gov website, https://www.sbir.gov/sbc/bluhaptics-inc Last accessed June 9, 2020. 4 Stampher, Jillian. (2017) "Telerobotics startup BluHaptics raises $1.3M to bring its underwater software to space," GeekWire, March 1, 2017. https://www.geekwire.com/2017/bluhaptics-undersea-software-space/ Last accessed June 9, 2020. 5 Olis Robotics Website, https://www.olisrobotics.com/news Last accessed June 9, 2020