Described as a “hamster ball with wings,” NSIN Vector alum Revolute Robotics created a drone that can travel both on land and in the air to provide imaging, surveillance, and more in austere, hostile, and complex environments.

While the premise may seem straightforward at first glance, the technology to get there is anything but. To build its Hybrid Mobility Robot (HMR), the Arizona-based startup had to engineer a robot strong enough to navigate on land but light enough for flight. It needed the capability to take off and land, transmit data, and work off minimal battery power.

The technology was created to complete security patrols, map construction sites and mines, and inspect confined spaces, such as oil tanks. The HMR also offers unique capabilities for military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and search and rescue—all without putting humans in harm’s way.

As Collin Taylor, Revolute’s CEO and co-founder, says, “it can go where people and other robots can’t – or don’t want to – go.”

Revolute Robotics Drone

For its amazing technology, Revolute Robotics won first place and $25,000 in the 2023 Vector program pitch challenge.

The Vector program engages companies that started in the commercial market and are interested in exploring the DoD market as well as companies that began in the DoD market and are seeking to grow. Teams participate in a ten-week accelerator where they learn the basics of doing business with the DoD, startup fundamentals, and how to conduct in-depth customer discovery.

For Revolute Robotics, Vector served as its primary entryway into the military market. The company has won a number of grants and awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and worked with accelerators such as TechStars and Y Combinator but wanted to explore the feasibility of its technology in a military environment.

“There is nothing out there specifically for [entering the] DoD that’s well known outside of NSIN. The NSIN programs were on our radar since we started our DoD pursuit and they absolutely lived up to the hype,” Taylor said. “Vector put us in the right position to speak with the people needed to get our tools to the warfighter. It was not just showing the operators our capability, but leadership to buy into its value and the contracting officers that pay for it. We needed to pull them all together and Vector provided that.”

About National Security Innovation Network

NSIN is a program office in the U.S. Department of Defense, nested within the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). We are set up to collaborate with a wide variety of innovators to include universities, researchers, students, entrepreneurs and start-ups. We create opportunities for collaboration across communities and connect those that might not traditionally work in national security. Together, we help drive national security innovation and develop technologies that directly support the individuals responsible for protecting our country.

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