US Industry-Academia consortia with Hyderabad start-up Imaginate to get $1m NSF Grant

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on October 02, 2019

Representative iomage   -  Reuters

The challenges of the project are to build an ER Platform, as well as equip personnel with special skills using AR/VR

Imagine a set of drones, a four legged robot and a specially trained person in virtual reality (VR) pressed into action in a bid to control a fire accident in a commercial complex in a busy street.

The rescuer is also equipped with wearable devices and an Exoskeleton, which has Infra Red glasses and interfaces with Augmented Reality (AR). He is backed with special skills and linked to a platform to operate smoothly.

This is not science fiction, but a glimpse of the future fire fighter or emergency responder (ER).

Globally, efforts are on to harness a slew of technologies to combat accidents, especially in hazardous environments.

$1 million award

The consortia, including the Universities--Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and the University of Florida and industries-IHMC, Eksobionics and the US & Hyderabad start up Imaginate has got a $ 1 million prize from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create ER platform and specialists.

The Consortia will submit the implementable plan in April 2020 and hopes to win a bigger grant.

The NSF is the largest government funding agency for innovative research. It has recently launched the first Convergence Accelerator to encourage joint research projects between Industry-Academia.

“The ultimate objective is to integrate the best of technological capabilities into the future fire fighters & ERs to operate smoothly and in helping during natural calamities, health epidemics or providing emergency health delivery etc,” said Hemanth Satyanarayana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & founder of Imaginate, which specialises in AR/VR based technologies, told BusinessLine.

Using AR/VR

The challenges of the project are to build an ER Platform as well as equip personnel with special skills using AR/VR.

"Design relevant wearable devices and the exoskeleton that will enable the ER to tackle hostile environments," said Hemant.

Work will happen cross borders in the three universities and Imaginate & IHC. “We will do a large chunk of the work on AR/VR in the Hyderabad Lab, which is well equipped and has specialists in collaboration with US partners”, he said.

Published on September 30, 2019

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