Cleveland Heights RoadPrintz raised nearly $ 1 million in funding from the National Science Foundation

Cleveland Heights RoadPrintz raised nearly $ 1 million in funding from the National Science Foundation

Here’s how the technology works, via the Case release:

Story Highlights:

  • The $999,900 award to RoadPrintz Inc. will “support ongoing research and development of the company’s operator-driven, truck-mounted, mobile robotic pavement-marking system,” according to a news release from CWRU. RoadPrintz was co-founded by Case Western Reserve electrical engineering professor Wyatt Newman. The university’s Technology Transfer Office in November 2019 licensed to RoadPrintz the robotics-based technology that is the foundation of the company.

  • The system that RoadPrintz uses is designed to replace the dangerous — and often dull — practice of hand-painting stencils of common roadway markings, such as turn arrows, bike symbols and railroad crossings.

The RoadPrintz technology allows these symbols to be painted robotically while the operator remains safely in the truck. The company will begin testing the system with established specialty pavement marking contractors next spring.

The release noted that the National Science Foundation award “will fund additional research and development work in precision vision-based symbol painting; precision mapping and coordinate-based painting; automated creation and use of a database of precision road markings; and enhancement and validation of road-painting capabilities.”

Newman, RoadPrint’s chief technology officer, said in the release, “Standing in the road watching the paint dry is the very definition of boredom. This is exactly the sort of application that robots are good for.”

RoadPrintz co-founder and president Sam Bell, who also chairs the Cleveland Heights Transportation Advisory Committee, said in a statement, “We expect our system will reduce injuries and save workers’ lives while increasing labor productivity substantially.”

The company received initial funding and support from the Great Lakes Innovation Development Enterprise; the Technology Validation Startup Fund of the Ohio Third Frontier Fund; Case Technology Ventures; Guidemark Industries, a Pennsylvania pavement markings contractor; and truck upfitter QT Equipment of Akron, in addition to previous National Science Foundation SBIR Phase I funding.

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