RISE Robotics Awarded $1.55M Defense Contract by U.S. Air Force to Develop Common Lifting Devices

The lifting device is RISE Robotics' first US Air Force production order.

Boston Dynamics

Rise Robotics' Common Lifting device.

RISE Robotics, a zero-emission heavy machinery company, announced this week it has been awarded a $1.55 million contract to supply its RISE Technology-enabled Common Lifting device, or CLD, to the United States Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

Founded in 2011 by graduates of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Somerville, Mass.-based RISE Robotics said it is a high-growth technology company backed by The Engine, a Tough Tech venture capital fund built by MIT, Greentown Labs, and Techstars.

Activated on July 9, 2012, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) reports to the Air Force Materiel Command and is charged with life cycle management of Air Force weapon systems from their inception to retirement.

AFLCMC said it provides holistic management of weapon systems across their life cycle and simplifies / consolidates staff functions and processes to curtail redundancy and enhance efficiency. AFLCMC's operating structure provides an integrated framework for decision making and process optimization across the weapon system life cycle.

Agreement has transitioned to a Phase III contract

RISE Robotics said it has scaled and integrated its efficiency-enabling technology, RISE Cylinder, into the CLD, which has transitioned into a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract.

The CLD was developed under a SBIR Phase II contract for United States Air Force Special Operations Forces (AFSOF) as a result of an AFWERX Phase I program designed to help US Air Force end-users discover new technologies from companies they had never worked with before, the company said.

“RISE is delivering its first US Air Force production order, for a lightweight and compact lifting device,” RISE Robotics CEO Arron Acosta said. “This successful product launch paves the way for the other products we are currently developing for the Air Force.”

The RISE Cylinder enabled CLD has been field tested by Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) at Eglin Air Force Base. The CLD meets the Air Force’s requirement for a safe, light and lean, compact lifting device that reliably operates in austere environments and facilitates the removal and installation of the Silent Knight Radar array on MC-130J aircraft.

“RISE Robotics is honored to be among the businesses that have taken a product through the full Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) cycle with the United States Air Force,” RISE Robotics Chief Product Officer Ken Gray said. “The CLD required us to win sequential Phase I, Phase II and finally Phase III contracts to propose a concept, build and validate prototypes in an operational environment and finally deliver production units, respectively.”

RISE Robotics said its zero emission machines incorporate the patented RISE Cylinder (US Patent 11255416, Patent Pending: WO2019/014259), a fluid-free, electromechanical alternative to hydraulic cylinders for heavy equipment and machinery that 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, the company said. 


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Boston Dynamics

Rise Robotics' Common Lifting device.


Robot Technologies



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