Software to Help Robots Collaborate
AvaWatz helps robots on the ground and in the air work together.
Its platform transforms these bots into teams of “cobots” that can execute complex tasks in challenging environments. The company’s software, pre-installed for specific missions, implements a detect-decide-act cycle to resolve challenges accurately — integrating team navigation, computer vision, information sharing, and group decision-making capabilities.
AvaWatz’s cobot solution enables companies to track dangerous debris on airfields, accelerate manufacturing output, track land management in challenging terrain, and support conservation tracking. This company already serves customers including the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and Department of Homeland Security, and its technology aims to disrupt the collaborative robotic market, projected to reach nearly two trillion dollars by the end of this decade.
AvaWatz is in a unique position in this market. To start, it doesn’t design or manufacture any robots or pieces of hardware. This keeps costs down and removes the burden of competition from other companies developing these products.
Furthermore, its technology enables any robotics manufacturer to provide more value to its customers without increasing production costs. AvaWatz’s focus is on driving collaboration between multiple robots — everything from drones to autonomous vehicles to assembly-line solutions.
The company’s initial target market is airfield space. Here, its platform uses camera and airborne sensors on drones to identify potential debris hazards for removal. The drones’ sensors identify hazards and transmit the coordinates to a ground crew for retrieval.
Currently, it can take a ground crew about two hours to detect and remove airfield debris. Using AvaWatz’s technology, that time can be trimmed to just twenty minutes.
While aviation is this company’s initial area of focus, its robot-as-a-service, or “RaaS,” platform can be adopted in the ground transit and surveillance markets. Future applications include large-scale railroad inspection, infrastructure repair surveying, and endangered species monitoring.
To generate revenue, AvaWatz offers one- to three-year contracts. And each contract includes a different level of support.
The company’s platform is fully prototyped, thanks in part to a two-million-dollar contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense, and has been tested in pilots. Three phases of prototypes were released to the U.S. Air Force over the last two-and-a-half years. In 2022, the company began work on early versions of its software for combined air and ground robotic vehicles. And these prototypes were released to the U.S. Army.
Next year, AvaWatz aims to onboard customers and launch multiple marketing campaigns.
Rajini is a serial entrepreneur who’s managed the development and marketing strategies of multiple tech products.
Prior to starting AvaWatz, she founded mZeal/CyGlass, an Artificial Intelligence-based cybersecurity company that was sold to Nominet, a competitor, in 2020.
She holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science.
J.R. has more than twenty-five years of experience in Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial sales.
At AvaWatz, he leads direct sales to defense agencies and commercial customers, and also coordinates partnerships for R&D purposes.
Previously, he led business development and sales at mZeal/CyGlass, the cyber-security company acquired in 2020.
Bala works part-time with AvaWatz, and has extensive experience in commercialization and production.
Most recently, he was a strategic advisor with mZeal/CyGlass, the cyber security company acquired in 2020. Before that, he was a senior database engineer with Refinitiv, a financial-services company.
Earlier in his career, he was a team lead with Zipcar, a car-sharing service that was acquired by AVIS, a car-rental company. Before that, he was a staff database engineer with Cartera Commerce, an e-commerce business focused on shopping and retail rewards.
Bala began his career as an engineer with Intuit, a financial-services company, and led product innovation at Navic Networks, a tech company acquired by Microsoft in 2008.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Madras.