Congratulations to our founder and CEO Paul Perrone on the recent grant of the MAX platform patent 9,833,901!! Huzzah! “Ok” you say, “so what does this mean really?”
This patent is a “continuation-in-part” of the original MAX platform patent (9,195,233) with claims directed to a general purpose robotics operating system. This continuation builds on the claims of the ‘233 patent and is granted the same date of filing as the ‘233 patent. The original date of filing was February, 2006 which is well before many of our competitors created their platforms or even founded their companies. In fact, this patent has a filing date even before the DARPA Urban Challenge occurred in the Fall of 2007.
This continuation addresses the ability of the MAX Platform to handle a wide range of autonomous vehicles including robots, carts, shuttles, automobiles, trucks, aircraft and submersibles. Our original patent covered a general purpose robotics platform, and this new patent addresses the capability of our platform and its services to support a wide range of autonomous vehicles. It’s an important point for us as a platform supplier because our goal is to deliver a platform that makes it easier to develop and deploy reliable and capable robotics solutions with very little programming. This is a point we prove daily with our current customer projects.
Currently we are adding autonomy to 2 different automobiles (adding robotic controls to one of them), enhancing a third, and adding autonomy to the world’s largest mining truck, and to small prototype robots suitable for home or office use. The same exact platform is used in each case. What changes are the configurations to control these vehicles and to collect data from the sensors chosen. And of course a thin layer of application-specific code that executes the specific functions of these vehicles. These projects range from soft to hard real-time solutions.
We also have several projects out for bid that we are pursuing closely: a small shuttle to carry parts to aircraft on a runway; an electric yard truck to move trailers around a warehouse depot; a guidance system for drivers in the far North to help them stay on the road in blizzard conditions; and two projects for leading automotive space companies to leverage the MAX platform to help them integrate control across multiple vehicles in one case, and to test new maneuvers in simulation in the other.
This patent exemplifies the value our platform brings to the autonomous vehicle space by enabling our nimble team (Perrone Robotics) to work on a widely varied set of projects and deliver successful autonomous behavior to companies in many different industry verticals. In early 2018, we will complete work on our MAX software development toolkit and release it commercially to the public. This will enable many other developers to also realize these benefits – and to know that they are backed by patented technology.
Congratulations again Paul!