RISE Robotics Awarded $1.25M to Design Ultra-Light Loading Machine for the U.S. Air Force

The company said its new loader will be a fraction of the weight of the legacy diesel-over-hydraulic 10K AT Forklift.

RISE Robotics

Rise Robotics is based in Somerville, Mass.
With support from the U.S. Air Force, RISE Robotics is building lightweight technology to help load and unload heavy cargo.

RISE Robotics, a zero-emission heavy machinery company, announced last week that it has been awarded a $1.25 million Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Award by the U.S. Air Force.

Founded in 2011 by graduates of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Rhode Island School of Design, RISE Robotics is backed by The Engine, a Tough Tech venture capital fund built by MIT, Greentown Labs, and Techstars.

Adversarial advances in combat capabilities have prompted the U.S. Air Force to pursue a strategy focused on launching, recovering, and maintaining aircraft from dispersed forward operating locations, according to the Somerville, Mass.-based company.

Rather than relying on large overseas bases to project international power, agile combat employment (ACE) uses networks of austere air bases, multi-capable airmen, pre-positioned equipment, and airlifts to rapidly deploy, disperse, and maneuver combat capability throughout a theater, noted RISE Robotics.

To be successful, the U.S. Air Force must deploy reliable, low maintenance, and functional support equipment to operate effectively.

Award will help RISE design Ultra-Light Loader

With this SBIR Phase II Award from AFVentures, RISE Robotics said it will design an Ultra-Light 10K Loader. It said the concept design will be capable of swift and safe manipulation of standard 463L cargo pallets in austere landing fields and will be a fraction of the weight of the legacy diesel-over-hydraulic 10K AT Forklift.

“Unloading and loading heavy cargo pallets from austere landing fields will be done with RISE’s lighter-weight equipment that reduces transportation fuel usage,” said Arron Acosta, CEO of RISE Robotics. “Today, commercial articulated wheel loaders with large off-road tires do the job well, but reducing fuel consumption is a new challenge best solved by RISE.”

RISE Robotics said its zero-emission machines incorporate the patented RISE Cylinder (U.S. Patent No. 11255416, Patent Pending: WO2019/014259), a fluid-free, electromechanical alternative to hydraulic cylinders for heavy equipment and machinery. The company said it addresses the battery-electrification problems inherent in hydraulic systems by delivering hydraulic-like forces at unprecedented efficiency, precision, speed, and weight. RISE Cylinder uses up to 90% less energy than hydraulic cylinders.

RISE Robotics said it is leading the way to environmentally sustainable heavy machinery by providing the world’s most efficient and productive alternative to hydraulics. Designed for medium- and heavy-duty applications, RISE said its technology can provide fuel, emissions, and sound reductions; improve productivity; and extend machine life. 

Earth Day with RISE Robotics.

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RISE Robotics

Rise Robotics is based in Somerville, Mass.

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