Featured Image Source: 3D Printing Media Network
About The 2022 OODA Loop Series: Autonomous Everything
In a series of posts entitled Autonomous Everything, we explore automation in all its technological forms, including legacy working assumptions about the term itself. Autonomous Everything includes a broad autonomous future in areas such as Security Automation, Automation and the Workforce, Automation – or Augmentation – of the workforce, and Automation of AI/Machine Learning Training Models and Industry Standardization. Recently, we checked in with Junaid Islam, a well-known cybersecurity expert, to discuss security automation tools, the increased cyber risks enterprises face, and the emerging AI-based Zero Trust cybersecurity for Smart Energy, Transportation, and Manufacturing systems.
About Orbital Composites
Unsatisfied with current technologies, Cole Nielsen founded Orbital Composites in 2014 based on the idea that “3D printers need to be designed around the parts that they create. The solution: robots. Robotic automation offers tremendous advantages at the fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing systems, including scalability, and complex 3D printing on curves. To further prepare our customers for industry 4.0, we knew we needed to equip our technology to be able to synchronize up-to-the-millisecond data across thousands of cloud robots and IoT devices. After determining these as industry’s future requirements, we launched Orbital S in 2019 to propel our world into the next generation of manufacturing. But this is only the beginning – the quest for developing impossible products won’t stop. We are committed to constant innovation not just to adapt to our transient global economy, but to be leaders of change. (1)
AFWERX is a Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the innovation arm of the Department Air Force, accelerates agile and affordable capability transitions by teaming innovative technology developers with Airman and Guardian talent. In AFWERX, AFVentures expands the Defense Industrial base for advanced technologies, Spark empowers Airmen and Guardian talent, and Prime drives transition to operational capability. Teaming across academia, industry, investment, interagency, and international partners is essential to expanding technology, talent, and transition of dual-use capabilities. Last year, Fast Company ranked AFWERX #16 of Best Workplaces for Innovators. The AFWERX MISSION is to accelerate agile and affordable capability transitions by teaming innovative technology developers with Airman and Guardian talent. (2)
Orbital Composites secures second US Air Force contract
Orbital Composites, an official Kuka Systems partner, has been selected by AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) that connects innovators across government, industry, and academia, for a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II focused on mobile, autonomous 3D printed drone manufacturing to investigate the technology’s potential to fill capability gaps in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).
Orbital Composites’ multi-robot printing
Orbital Composites, Inc. is a Silicon Valley startup, reinventing the way composites are manufactured from mesoscale to megascale, by developing proprietary robotic 3D printers, materials, and software. The company’s mission is to create mobile, autonomous, and sustainable composite manufacturing factories via robotic continuous-fiber 3D printing of recyclable materials. The company’s unique and patented capabilities allow it to manufacture products and components out of composite materials, such as carbon fiber, at faster rates, lower costs, higher volumes, and with customization that is not possible with incumbent manufacturing processes.
The AFRL is the primary scientific research and development center for the DAF. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for the US air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 personnel across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development.
Orbital Composites’ areas of application
The AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and STTR process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal-to-award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small businesses, and minimizing bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution.
The DAF first offered ‘The Open Topic’ SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations that the DAF funded. Orbital Composites has already started its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will potentially strengthen the national defense of the United States of America. (3)
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