A seven judge panel has awarded the $1 million grand prize in the Genius NY business competition to AutoModality
. The money will be used to hire new employees, according to AutoModality's chief technology officer and one of its three principals Ed Koch.
AutoModality’s UAS can get within three feet of objects to conduct up close inspections of buildings, bridges, power lines and other structures. Instead of using GPS, computerized optics are used to control the movements of the UAS, helping them avoid collisions with other objects.
AutoModality beat out five other finalists vying for the first-place prize, but the other competitors each received prizes as well.
A second-place prize of $600,000 was awarded to a company called Ascent AeroSystems, which make UAS that can be carried in backpacks. A third-place prize of $400,000 was awarded to a company called OmniMesh, which is designing a wireless network protocol that is meant to increase UAS safety and security.
Three runner ups received prizes of $250,000 each.
New York's economic development arm, Empire State Development, provided $5 million in funding to Genius NY for the competition. They will provide $5 million again next year to once again fund the competition.
AutoModality has decided to make Central New York its permanent home, so that it can be close to Griffiss International Airport in the Oneida County city of Rome. Griffiss is just one of six sites in the country designated by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct research related to the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace system.
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