Inception Drive from SRI International
CEO: William Jeffrey
HQ: Menlo Park, CA
The latest breakthrough from SRI Robotics is a novel ultra-compact, infinitely variable transmission that is an order of magnitude smaller and lighter than existing technologies. The Inception Drive is a new transmission that can reverse the direction of the output relative to input without clutches or extra stages, dramatically increasing total system efficiency in applications including robotics, transportation, and heavy industry.
Traditionally robots have a high transmission ratio in order to pick up or move heavy items, resulting in a rigid robotic system that is dangerous for human interaction. Because the transmission ratio is adjustable, the impedance of the system can be raised for specific tasks and then lowered for human safety. SRI International has been developing innovative technologies since the 1940s, from the internet and voice assistants to the world’s first mobile robot Shakey.