When Kinetic Art and Technology Corporation started many years ago as Visual Computing Systems (VCS), it received SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (now DARPA) to develop General Purpose Motion Modules for robotic systems. Partially through company funding, and partially through the Phase II effort, the Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array (SEMA) motor/generator technology was developed.
In following years, VCS/KAT went on to win many more SBIR Phase I and Phase II contracts from various other federal agencies. These SBIRs all centered around new applications for SEMA technology and ongoing improvements to SEMA technology. Innovations demonstrated include advanced manufacturing techniques for SEMA, Rotary Integrated Motion Modules (RIMMs), an auxillary power unit for NASA, linear actuators, proprietary controls innovations and more.
A clear policy shift has taken place within the United States federal government, with a renewed focus on energy efficiency. There has never been a better time to incorporate the incredible efficiency of SEMA motors and generators into federal programs.
As technology in part developed under a federal SBIR Phase II, SEMA technology and other innovations derived from SEMA under SBIR contracts are eligible for SBIR Phase III awards. Such awards do not need to come from the agency that made the initial SBIR awards, and the ability to execute a Phase III contract based on a previous SBIR does not expire.
SEMA motors have been in production since 1999. If a federal agency is looking to increase efficiency in applications employing motors and/or generators, SEMA is available now for an SBIR Phase III award.