Cambridge Startup Aims to Change the Face of Robotics

A Cambridge robotics software startup plans to introduce new technology by the end of the year that will ultimately allow robots to work autonomously from humans. Neurala, Inc. recently unveiled the world’s first robot intelligence software designed for widespread commercial use at the Boston TechStars Demo Day Event, a showcase for companies participating in Techstars’ startup accelerator program.

Neurala’s new product deviates from conventional commercial robot software in that it allows robots to learn and adapt to their environment free of human intervention. This innovative software lets robots take in and learn information drawn from multiple sensors. Similar to the human brain, the robot will then process the information simultaneously and make a decision accordingly.

Primarily targeted towards the Telepresence market, the software will enable robots to learn and remember faces, meaning they will be able to traverse various environments independently. Users can simply tell robots to “Find Jim” or go to any location without using remote control or programming repetitive commands.

In addition to toys, there is an abundance of commercial opportunities for Neurala’s new software. Business users can monitor various facilities simply by telling a robot to inspect the site, says CEO Max Versace. The software can also be used in unmanned aerial vehicles to autonomously act as security patrol.  Since 2012, the U.S. Air Force and NASA have paid the company $1.7 million to develop software for an autonomous Mars Rover-like vehicle.

Neurala is already creating waves in the robotics industry with their new software. “The technology that Neurala is building has the potential to make our robot, and all robots, into adaptive learning beings,” says Keller Rinauldo, CEO of Romotive, a robotics firm that expects to be one of the startup’s first customers. (Boston Business Journal, TechStars Press Release)